Senate Public Safety, Black Boxes, and Big Brother: One Step too Far?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Vaderize03, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I was watching the world news tonight, and a story was run which really caught my attention. Many new cars sold in the United States are being wired with black boxes identical to the ones which are used on commercial aircraft.

    The automobile versions are designed to track a car's speed, the function of the airbags, even whether or not the occupants are wearing seat belts, as well as the vehicle's location 24/7.

    Now, the federal government wishes to mandate that all cars sold in the US be wired with these boxes, claiming it will provide vital auto safety data. Critics charge that not only is this a privacy violation, it also opens the door for abuse by insurance companies, potentially allowing them to raise rates on "unsafe" drivers based on their speed history.

    Now, I'm all for auto safety, but this goes WAY too far. A government-mandated "black box" in everybody's car is something I would have expected from the Soviet government, NOT the United States. Even if car owners were legally placed in charge of their data, insurance companies could find ways around this (charging a higher rate to anybody who refused to allow open access to their data, for example); police could potentially demand access to the boxes at any time, with mandatory loss of license for anyone who refuses (in the same manner as refusing a breathalizer does currently).

    My feeling: BIG thumbs down. Other thoughts?

    Peace,

    V-03
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
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    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    lol owning a car
  3. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    This article says that 96% of 2013 models have the black box even without a mandate and they've been in use in some form since the 1970's. Plus, they only tend to record data for 5 to 10 seconds and the data is only saved when the airbags deploy. Real-time transmission is obviously possible, but at this point just a hypothetical. It seems as though Federal regulation may actually help a bit, since 37 states apparently don't have any rules whatsoever regulating the use of the things. All in all, I'm not too concerned.

    That is, I've learned to love Big Brother. MiniLove doubleplusgood. Off to the Gulag with you! Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, etc.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Dec 8, 2012
  4. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    Also, who is "the federal government"? I would say that odds are it is a specific person who wants this. Odds are, they are a politician. Which means, if it becomes an issue, there are various means of making it not an issue any more.
  5. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
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    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Anybody who's afraid of this should chuck their cell phone into the sea, turn off the internet, and live in a tin foil tent out in Alaska because they're completely insane.
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Dec 8, 2012
  6. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    They aren't gps boxes and we own the data. Police would have to get a warrant for any data anyway. I don't see much wrong with them.
  7. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    But..but...my alarmism!
  8. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    2 things concern me.

    1. This is not being regulated.
    2. The first leads to an active speeding system and you have a revenue based police system rather than safety based.

    There are trucks out there that immediately report a driver going over a certain speed and they are called on the spot and potentially ticketed on the spot. If you impelment that in all cars you have a prison for honest people. So long as it goe sno further that shown in the article then it's no biggy.
    Vaderize03 likes this.
  9. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Yes, the lack of regulation is a major concern. It can be harder to define after the fact.
  10. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    Can we get one that reports people who swerve into oncoming traffic while texting, talking on their phone, or otherwise attempt to steer with their knees?

    Because I'd be completely alright with that.
    Last edited by The Loyal Imperial, Dec 10, 2012
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    What would you say to wide spread Big Brother if it's all in our hands? I reported here(haha like I'm a reporter) I want to say a couple of years ago about devices we could all wear that record everything from what can be seen by the device to what it can also pick up on audio. I believe it would transfer the data to onlien storage so the recording is 100% and can be recalled at your whim.

    So, what happens in what might become a tattletale society?
  12. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    I think I like it in government hands better than that option. A hundred million walking instant YouTubes could probably find creepier ways to put it to use than any politician.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    But wouldn't passing federal laws about this create the regulation whose absence you complain of, since it would set limits on the allowable circumstances of use?
  14. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    But I'm really good at knee driving. I swear.