Black Boxes in Cars Raise Privacy Concerns

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are poised to propose new rules requiring event data recorders -- also called "black boxes" -- in all new cars and light trucks despite privacy concerns.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to publish the rules in the next few days. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices -- which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop -- into most new cars for years.

The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the cause of accidents and lead to safer vehicle designs. But privacy advocates say government regulators and auto manufacturers are fostering the spread of an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.

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