ok i think this is harmless. and you have to understand i am against things like SOPA and what ever the new one is called. but what you guys are talking about is down right unconstitutional. without any type of warning. (not a warning given to us but a warning given to them. like something unlawful being discussed in a car or whatnot.) they cant do anything. even the patriot act needed something to start the surveillance. things like searching bomb, bus, and things like that. to actually start the tapping. what this will do is if you are pulled over for speeding and you take it to court they will refer to the black box. i DONT think that this will record audio within the car maybe outgoing calls made with the built in phones the cars have now but even then they would need a probable cause. its too small of a unit to record the massive amounts of data that audio would take up. well if you wanted quality audio that you could understand. most likely it will be information such as speed, tire pressure, different ratios. idk but things that the cops (NOT THE GOVERNMENT) can use to solve crimes.
dont believe me that its too small? this is the size of the unit. the hard drives that are that big can only hold a couple of gigs of audio. if you want car info in with that its just too small.
First of even 2 gigs is enough for a lot of data points from a data acquisition system. A micro SD card can hold 16 GB of data, enough to be put in that blackbox. We had collected 2 years of data on a 1 gig drive for 16 sensors providing binary information. No one is talking about recording audio. That disk space is enough for speed, mileage, location if GPS capable, etc readings. As much as I hate conspiracy theories, this act proves another intrusive method like SOPA to curb people. On Star was used without any consent or Patriot Act for surveillance of GM vehicles, so a gray and vague law like this is enough of a fuel to demand more of such surveillance.
Lawmakers talk about safety, but the greatest need to improve safety on road is education. Engineering solutions are last bastions. But then again educating people will be against profits for insurance industry, GPS makers and data loggers. Insurance providers give radar detector to cops, but how serious are they to improve driver's education and pump money into that system? Yeah we know the answer. If lawmakers guarantee that these devices will 100% guarantee no accidents, then intrusive methods for safety of citizens will be must. But till then preventing accidents should be a priority than "learning" from accidents.
I think the Congress possibly senses Arab Spring like event to be happening in this country given Tea Party movement and Occupy Wall Street, and it is trying to be proactive; the low Congress' approval rating and amount of distrust in the country's legal system will be matter of time for such an event, chaos in world's premier democracy and free country will be oxymoronic.