Black Boxes In Your Car, Is Big Brother Watching You?
A friend of mine posted this article today. It is a story about the government making a “black box” mandatory in all new cars. I like to talk about conspiracies as much as anyone, but I don’t want you to think I am scaring anyone! While Alex Jones is not the one that wrote the article, I need to be clear about my feelings before we get rolling. I am not much a Jones supporter. I think he gets it right sometimes, but usually hypes things up and promotes fear mongering. I am not down with that. Ok, with that out of the way, lets move on.
The post states
Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so
So what does that mean? It means that the government wants a flight recorder style device installed in cars. Info Wars would have you believe that the government wants to steal the information from your car, and use it against you. Ah, my friends, odds are your car already has this device(s).
Every module in your car is simply a little computer. Like all computers data is saved and can be retrieve a later date.Take your engines computer(ECM) for example. When your check engine light comes on, your ECM stored data. It stores how fast you were going, what the engine temperature was, what gear you were in, and many more parameters. I use that data to help diagnose your car. ECM data, storage is nothing new. If your car is a 1996 and newer, it must store that type for information.
Here is where things get a little spooky. If your car has airbags, it has a module that controls the system. Much like the ECM an airbag module stores data. The exact information that is stored is not commonly known. In fact VW doesn’t really tell us what they store. But lets think about what we would want to know about a driver when they get in an accident.
- How fast they were going
- Where you wearing your seatbelt
- Did they hit the brake
- Did they turn the wheel
- Where the lights on
- Was a turn signal on
- Where the wipers on
Now, this type of information would only be stored in the event of airbag deployment. Since I don’t see many cars after accidents, I don’t know the exact information that can be extracted. Also, like other information, a log in might be required. There are some functions of our scan tools that require a log in. VW doesn’t give those log ins freely. Trust me when I say that the information can be retrieved. As cars become more advanced, the information that can be stored will increase. So at some point, when someone gets in a wreck, the car will know if you are changing the station on the radio, rolling down the window, or even moving the seat. The technology is there. All modules can communicate with each other, either directly or indirectly.
The really creepy thing for me is
Biometric face-recognition and transdermol sensor technology that prevents an inebriated person from driving a car by disabling the automobile has already been developed, in addition to systems that refuse to allow the vehicle to start if the driver is deemed to be overtired.
You can bet something like this will be in cars very soon. I guess I wont be able to have been on lunch anymore. 🙁 NOTE~I don’t have beer on lunch or any time during work. That is stupid!
But what does this mean for us? Not much really. If big brother wants the information it is already there. Remember that big ordeal with Toyota and “unintended acceleration”? That stored information is how Toyota engineers studied the cases, and proved that one guy to be a fraud. The only thing that is a VERY slight concern to me is, systems like Onstar. The direct satellite link to a car is a little creepy. The funny thing is, I have my phone on me all the time, not much difference I guess. 😉
Folks, please do not panic about this type of thing. There are many more issues in our world that we need to focus on long before this one. Besides, the time to worry about this type of thing was 10 years ago. There is no going back. I will say, IF you are worried about things like this, stop driving, cancel your cell phone, and get off the internet. Ok, don’t get off the internet because you need to keep visiting this site. 😉
One more thing. I am working on a few things, but I need some help from you guys. What type of products do you buy for your car? Cleaning products? GPS systems? Ipod holders? Is there a product out there that you have always wondered if it worked, or it was worth the money? Post in the comments and give me some ideas.
If you think we should all wrap our cars in tin foil so the “man” wont know what it is thinking, click one of the share buttons below. That will show ’em.