Do We Need Black Boxes in Cars?
New standards straight from the federal government are coming for cars that are voluntarily outfitted with event data recorders or black boxes. While this is not a requirement for all cars to be outfitted with them, many people think that this is the first step. Originally, the requirements were set to be delayed for a year, but recently it was decided to keep them on pace for September 1st of this year.
There are arguments for having them in every car. That would make investigating an accident far easier because there would be no question as to what happened. Computers don't often lie, unless you happen to believe that HAL from 2001 is an actual reality instead of a figment of the imagination of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick. The idea of having the unvarnished truth would be very attractive to law enforcement officers. No longer would they have to put up with as much of the he said, she said debates that go on after an accident. And in terms of safety, manufacturers would be able to design a better car because they would know what happened in real world situations with their vehicles.
The biggest problem with all of that comes back to individual liberties. Do you have the right to your own information in your vehicle? Do you have the right to have something like this mandated on your own property? Many people would argue both ways on this one. Would this technology be able to be used against you in a negative way? As with any advance, in the wrong hands it could be a big problem.
I think that the answer to the question of can this be turned into something negative is a resounding yes. How much further would you have to go to get information that no one needs out of the box? Can you imagine being stopped for speeding that you did several days ago just because someone was able to access the black box in your car? Can you imagine how much more it would take to get your car stopped by someone with this type of technology?
I am normally a forward thinking person when it comes to new technology. I am all for most of it. In this case, I believe that there are too many variables that make it not such a good idea to have a black box in the car with you. I think it smacks of too much government in the car and let's face it, we all see that there is too much government in practically everything.