Black box disclosure

Marketplace Staff Aug 22, 2006
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Black box disclosure

Marketplace Staff Aug 22, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

BRIAN WATT: Airplanes carry black boxes, and some cars do too. Some drivers don’t know it but in five years, they’ll have to. Here’s Annie Baxter.


ANNIE BAXTER: Black boxes are already in wide use in passenger vehicles. They’re an important tool for studying what happens to a car when it crashes, like whether the air bags deploy properly.

But some privacy advocates worry that other parties, like insurance companies, might tap the boxes to find out, say, how fast you drive.

That could translate to a change in your insurance rates, for better or worse.

Car industry expert Paul Eisenstein says future regulations will probably aim to keep the lid on the boxes closed to all but car owners.

PAUL EISENSTEIN: I don’t think privacy advocates will stop, unless they get some kind of restriction on how accessible this information is.

But Eisenstein says insurers and law enforcement agencies probably won’t give up claim to that access without a fight.

I’m Annie Baxter for Marketplace.

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