May 24, 2011
The feds will mandate next month that all new cars be fitted with a black box, according to news reports. So-called black boxes record information about speed, seat belt use and brake application.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been involved in the use of black boxes since their introduction. In 2006, the safety administration encouraged but did not require automobile manufacturers to install the systems and also did not set a single standard for the way data would be recorded, according to the New York Times.
In February, NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the government was considering making the technology mandatory in the wake of recalls of millions of Toyota vehicles. Strickland made the disclosure to a subcommittee hearing by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Now they will make the installation of these device mandatory under federal law. If we are to gauge the reaction of the corporate media, this story is not very important. Outside of industry and technology publications, the story was not reported.
Computer chip manufacturer Intel showed off its event recorder last year following the Toyota recall. “With new vehicles, there will very likely be video cameras inside and outside,” said Intel’s chief technology office, Justin Rattner, in a July, 2010, interview. “It’s not particularly new or stunning, but when you combine the cameras with GPS, you’re geo-tagging the video.”
In other words, your car – like your smart phone – may soon become a surveillance device and high-tech snooping will be mandated by the federal government.