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Old 12-01-2004, 12:00 AM   #1
MrKing
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Question The Black Box in your Car

The Following Information was obtained from a News Site here In Indiana. Since I just bought a 2005 Car, I thought I would share this information that was NOT Passed on to me by the dealership.

I do believe that this may indeed infringe on OUR 4th amendment rights. Please read the following report and give me some feedback on this...
thank you.

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FOX 59 REPORT: The Black Box in your Car


Kimberly King

November 30, 2004

Event Data Recorder or Black Box monitors your driving.

Mom Sarah Hauke is picking up her Volvo station wagon from the dealership. The sun is shining, the car's back in good shape and she's ready to roll. But as she's putting her little boy in the back seat to head home, she hasn't the faintest idea this reporter's lurking in the background working on this very story just a few feet away. "Do you know your car has a little black box recording how fast your going?" Sarah's eyes open a wide. "No, I had no idea!" The fact is most drivers don't have an inkling most auto manufacturers are installing event data recorder's otherwise known as little black boxes into nearly every car that comes off the assembly line.

"I think it's a good thing if it can help with investigations into accidents and help prove something," Hauke adds.

The Black boxes are currently used in crash investigations. The boxes have a running stream of information going through them: your car's speed ie how fast you're going, the engine's speed, whether the brake is used, the position of the gas pedal, whether you were wearing your seatbelt.

But the box experts say only starts actually recording information if your car is involved in some kind of impact or crash where the airbags may deploy.

Car Expert Max Beaver has a weekly weekend radio show on WIBC. He's been following the story of little black boxes. Some feel the boxes are an invasion of privacy, but Beaver makes the following argument. "From a mechanical standpoint I don't feel it's an invasion of privacy. On the other hand if I'm driving down the road going 95mph and I cause an accident would I want that information shared that I didn't put my foot on the brake no I don't think so and those are the kinds of people who might try to argue it's an invasion."

Beaver says currently only your car's manufacturer can un-encrypt the information recorded in a black box. But more and more police departments are investing money into the training an proprietary rights to gain access to the information in black boxes. "The black box records real time events and it's a moving target but it's critical when it's recording an event," said Beaver.

"It freezes the information at the time of that event say a crash, and then we have the ability to go in and see what was going on at that moment."

Investigators can use the information to validate or invalidate someone's story of what happened during a car accident.

Several weeks ago investigators tried to get information from the black box of a Lafayette School bus involved in a serious crash. In this instance they were disappointed to find the box didn't work but in many cases police say the box can give them vital information to help with their investigation. Manufacturers will often use the data from the box to dispute an automobile owner's claim their car malfunctioned. "Oftentimes the box will prove the car owner was at fault and not the car," said Beaver.

California is currently the only state with restrictive rules on the use of car black boxes, where the information can only be used with a car owner's consent or a court order.


http://fox59.trb.com/news/local/even...evening-news-3


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Old 12-01-2004, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: The Black Box in your Car

[QUOTE]Originally posted by MrKing
The Following Information was obtained from a News Site here In Indiana. Since I just bought a 2005 Car, I thought I would share this information that was NOT Passed on to me by the dealership.

I do believe that this may indeed infringe on OUR 4th amendment rights. Please read the following report and give me some feedback on this...
thank you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"...if I'm driving down the road going 95mph and I cause an accident would I want that information shared that I didn't put my foot on the brake no I don't think so and those are the kinds of people who might try to argue it's an invasion."


There you have it in a nutshell. The only people worried about these things being in there are the ones who are doing something wrong in the first place. I'm not Nancy Law-Abider 100% of the time myself, but the bottom line is that if you're going to break the rules you shouldn't bitch about having gotten caught breaking them.

For what it's worth, I don't believe the Focus is equipped with any EDR's (Event Data Recorders), unless Ford has started installing them in more recent model years. The Owner's Manual has a statement about it somewhere in the first few pages if your car does have one, my mom had an 04 F150 rental and the Owner's Manual made it quite clear that the truck was equipped with data recorders.

Something to remember, at this time anyway, EDR's are only taking short "loops" of information. It's not storing some kind of continuous log, it stores a few seconds of information and then erases, repeats, over and over in a loop. So as in the example above, if you were going 95 on the freeway and slammed into a tractor-trailer without ever having hit the brakes, it would record the few seconds prior to the accident and indicate that you were going 95 mph, the brakes were not activated, along with various other parameters. It's not like you take your car to the dealer and they download a detailed history of how the car has been driven and decline you warranty repairs because of "abuse" based on what they saw.
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Old 12-01-2004, 12:33 AM   #3
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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


I don't get it. What is the problem? Seems to me they would need your permission to read the black box.

It is interesting though. Recently I had my engine check light go on. I was concerned that it had something to do with a modification I'd put on the engine. Not wanting to void my warranty but, wanting warranty work, I went to Auto Zone to see what the code was all about. (Nothing to do with my mod, and fixed that prop by going back to stock gas cap.)
However, if the owner of the vehical had control of the information on that black box, which of course he does, then if he chooses to divulge it is up to him/her. Lets say you were involved in an accident the caused the death of the other driver, or simply speeding, I would think the information would be sealed, unless or until you choose to release it to interested parties.
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Last edited by Jake; 12-01-2004 at 12:49 AM.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:28 PM   #4
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Yeah but still.

Thats like going to court and incriminating you'reself. You're car is a extention of you'reself in our society.
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:44 PM   #5
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meh. i got an '01 and i'm in Canada :D lol
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:26 PM   #6
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I have a 2003 and I have a blackbox under my hood by the firewall with clickity clackity things in there and no one ever asked me any questions when I bought it ...?...
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:40 PM   #7
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I know many of you dont care about this little black box thing....so to help you understand where it could possibly lead to, Please Click the following link.


Thank You.



http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:51 PM   #8
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I can't get that link to work.

Anyway, where would they put this "blackbox" in your car ?

By the EEC module ?

How big is the BB ?
Does it have a hard drive or flash memory ?

Where does the BB get it's power ? the car battery ?

Can it transmit data remotely ? ...
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:52 PM   #9
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these are all questions I am trying to get answers for myself.

(I do know the link works fine)
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:53 PM   #10
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Whoa.. that's pretty messed up :/
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