Europe plots black boxes for cars
Project Veronica not a privacy problem
The European Commission's study into feasibility of fitting black box recorders to cars to record 20 types of data in case of accidents looks set to recommend the devices are fitted to all European cars.
Project Veronica, which began in 2003 and cost £2.4m, has dismissed privacy concerns because the boxes only record data in the event of an accident. The boxes will be triggered by sudden deceleration and will only record movement in the 30 seconds prior to an accident, and a few seconds afterwards.
The Commission hopes the boxes will have an impact on road safety by improving accident reconstruction, as well as helping police and insurance companies.
The project team said there were no data privacy problems because the boxes do not continuously monitor cars and do not contain other personal information. They will however need a secure download path so that the data contained may be used in court.
Similar boxes are used by managers of fleet vehicles and police forces, with dramatic improvements in accidents. The Metropolitan Police saved £2m in accident damages after installing the boxes, reports the Times. The boxes cost about £500 and are the size of a pack of cards.
The project also notes "congruencies" between boxes and eCall - a plan to fit an emergency beacon to every vehicle in Europe which would alert emergency services in the event of a crash.
The Project Veronica website is here. ®
@Michelle Knight et al.
"The only way that these black boxes will assist in the reduction of accidents is if they help identify the wreckless (sic) driving that causes the majority of them and are instrumental in putting outrageous drivers behind bars."
Actually I suspect that they will make many people drive a little safer just knowing that if they crash then they are damned by irrefutable proof. And as you say the ones that don't will be easier to get for dangerous/reckless driving and so removed from the road.
RE: You can wipe, bypass, fool the device type comments.
Yes that is certainly possible, but you do realise that if you are involved in an accident then the first thing that will happen is your data will be "recovered". If this is blank or completely inconsistent with the other driver's (and any witnesses of course) then plod will be having a look at your unit - it is inconceivable that this government (or indeed the Tories) would not mandate these units without introducing offenses related to screwing with them. At the very least if the other guy has reasonable data and you have none then they will almost certainly get the benefit of the doubt from insurance companies (who will also want these things in all cars).
And finally, for now, it is more likely that putting these in cars will be driven by insurance companies who will probably subsidise the box and offer reductions in premiums for those using them. They will also most certainly make any tampering with the box invalidate your insurance.
no Privacy concerns? PAH!!!
Excuse me but in order ro record data prior to the accident the box HAS to continuously monitor all data sources and therefore has the potential for breaking privacy rules - probably without either our knowledge or consent. Rubbish? It can be done now with systems already fitted to vehicles for monitoring their whereabouts etc. It is simply a matter of redirecting the infomation (GPRS?) to the interloper as required and with our intelligence people wanting to know our every footfall why wouldn't they secretly install such capability?
Me paranoid? much too late for that, BB is already alive and watching us...
You may already have this fitted....
if you have a Saab 93 sport saloon, I had one in 2004 and the manual (yes I actually read it) stated it had the same type of 'black box' fitted - in the event of an accident Saab could request recovery of the box and analyse the data to determine whether the car's safety features had performed as designed. It was kind of sold as an aid to safety and design refinement of new or improved features.