The Department of Transportation has announced a proposed rule
to require eavesdropping equipment in 100 percent of all light
vehicles sold in the United States -- one of the largest breaches
of privacy in U.S. history, according to one conservative.
The proposed standard would require car
manufacturers to install Event Data Recorders (EDRs), more commonly
known as "black boxes" like those carried by aircraft, in all new
cars and light trucks beginning Sept. 1, 2014.
Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow for The National
Center for Public Policy research (NCPPR), condemns the Obama
administration's decision to bypass Congress and implement its
automobile "black box" mandate administratively.
"'He has given us 60 days, 30 of which will be consumed by the
Christmas holidays." Cooper calls it a "breach of privacy" and
maintains that "people have no business knowing which dry cleaning
shop you go to. They have no business knowing whether or not you
drink tea while you were in your car or you drink a product that
needs to be cooled while you were in in your car. That's none of
A similar proposal was killed by the House of Representatives
last year when it was included in a Senate-passed bill to fund the
nation's transportation needs.
"When it was presented as a law, the House of Representatives
objected to it, said that it was not something that they could
support," the adjunct fellow recalls. "We at The National Center
have been claiming for some time that this was a bad idea, a
solution in search of a problem."
Cooper warned about the Senate's passage of S. 1813 in
August, calling the black box "creepy" and cautioning that it
was "possibly coming soon to a new car near you."