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Discussion Starter #1
I am bothered by new high tech ways of enforcing laws, and I see Event Data Recorders (EDRs) as our government’s way of recording the every day actions of the American people without us being accused or even suspected of committing a crime. This is a creeping insidious process that erodes our expectation of personal privacy.

I originally posted this as a response to the topic "Automatic License Plate Recognition" thread, but I thought that it warranted a separate topic instead of taking over that one. I also took inputs and modified my post somewhat. The way this relates to motorcycles is that what starts out applicable to automobiles eventually finds its way to motorcycles. ABS and air bags are good examples. I think it is only a matter of time before we start seeing EDRs being installed on motorcycles, and a Gold Wing would likely be the first to see one.

The type of data recorded in an EDR has been used in some vehicles since the late 1960s when air bag deployment needed inputs to determine when a bag deployment was appropriate or more importantly when deployment was not appropriate. Sounds like a good thing to me.

The next step was to record the data for post crash analysis so that the automotive industry could improve the vehicles to make them safer and for the highway engineer to improve roadway design to have less of a negative impact on crash victims. Data recorded includes vehicle speed, throttle position, speed delta (accelerating or decelerating), brake applied, ABS engaged, steering wheel position, seat belts being worn (or not), partial VIN number, etc. The collection and recording of this data has purposely been limited to 5 seconds before the crash (or near crash), so this does not offend the general public about their every move behind the wheel being monitored by "big brother". Another seemingly good idea.

Consider that EDRs are installed in most new vehicles manufactured today. Manufacturers are doing this on a voluntary basis for self serving reasons and due to pressure (in the form of threats) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA has received requests on several occasions to make EDRs mandatory but so far they have not. Recently NHTSA has required that notices be placed in the automobile Drivers Manual about EDRs being installed in their new vehicle and what data they record. This was done to appease the groups mounting objections EDRs on the grounds that their privacy was being compromised without their knowledge.

The public is now warned that EDRs are installed but once they take possession of the vehicle they have no option to disable the EDR. If you own a late model GM, Ford, Toyota, or several other manufacturers’ vehicle, you have an EDR installed and you cannot turn off the data recording function because it has been fully integrated into the air bag deployment computer. You might be able to pull the fuse on your air bag system (if you can find it because it is not labeled as such), but then you are without that safety device. Your only real recourse is to purchase an older vehicle that does not have the EDR installed or choose an automotive manufacturer that has not submitted to government pressure to install them.

Now there is a move for the courts to use the data to assign liability for accidents and to be used as evidence in courts. Currently they have to go out to the scene of the accident and use established investigative techniques to reconstruct what happened. This could be good if you are a victim trying to sue someone for your injuries. This may not be so good if you violated any traffic laws and were involved in the accident, whether those infractions lead to or caused the accident or not because you are now "culpable" and at least partially liable for the injuries and damage caused to others.

Some people (like me) may find this unacceptable and might want to turn their EDR off, but they are making these boxes tamper proof so it is almost impossible. They are even starting to incorporate built in battery backups or flash RAM so if power is disconnected, it will still save the data. Having a piece of hardware that I purchased record my driving activities and then be entered into evidence for or against me in a court of law is unacceptable to me. This can almost be equated to being wire-tapped without a crime being committed and without a warrant being issued by the courts until after the fact.

But the courts are not the only people that want this data. The insurance companies want it to justify jacking up the rates or denying coverage to those whom it considers unacceptable risks. On the surface that sounds fair. But what if they start changing their criteria such that minor infractions such as parking or fixit tickets are used to increase your rates? Or maybe you have to sign consent to give them EDR data as a condition of them issuing you insurance. If all companies adopted that position (and why wouldn't they?), then you would have no alternative but to submit to their demands if you needed to drive to make your living. Still convinced that it is okay?

Each of the above was undertaken with the "public good" as their basis so that the public would be placated into accepting this useful tool. In most instances, John or Jane Doe could rationalize that all this monitoring is a good thing and certainly worth the loss of anonymity and intrusion compared to any previous privacy that he or she might have enjoyed.

Okay, let’s take the past progression as a template for how this data might be used in the future. The recording of data is now continuous, and it is transmitted to receivers along side of the road and collected in massive data bases. They have added GPS receiver inputs so your location is known and transmitted too. I you are traveling 26mph in a 25mph zone, you are breaking the law and a ticket is mailed to your house and the report is automatically sent to your insurance company. By this evidence of this transgression, you are a flagrant law breaker and a risk to society so your insurance rates are increased as "constructive feedback" to teach you to obey every traffic law. These minor infractions accumulate over time and your tickets and insurance rates are such that you cannot afford to drive yourself to work, which is not serviced by public transportation.

Do you think this is far fetched and will never happen? Am I just a paranoid conspiracy theorist off on a rant? I don't think so. If you go on the web and research the EDRs, you will find people representing insurance companies and others that would realize financial gain suggesting we proceed in that very direction.

Sorry for the long post, but as it has been said before, "The greatest threat to our freedom is for good men to stand by and do nothing". What we have always thought of as our "personal information" is fast fading as it is being collected and spread throughout computers and data bases around the world. The rally cry of "if you are not breaking any law, then you have nothing to fear" does not diminish my ever growing concerns. Have you ever broken any traffic law? If you have, then you are subject to your vehicle being used against you in a court of law. How do you feel about that?

P.S. If the EDRs were mandated to be used only for the purpose for which they were developed, improving vehicle safety, then I would have no objections.
 

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I am so glad this has nothing to do with the GoldWing. One more way we can live free, on a Wing!
 

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Re: Event Data Recorders (EDRs)

Mark Rowell said:
P.S. If the EDRs were mandated to be used only for the purpose for which they were developed, improving vehicle safety, then I would have no objections.
And Social Security numbers were "Not to be Used for Identification"
 

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The first abuse of EDRs will most likely be by the insurance companies refusal to pay because you didn't have your seat belt on, were operating the radio or some other minor excuse.

Your speed analogy
26mph in a 25mph zone, you are breaking the law and a ticket is mailed to your house and the report is automatically sent to your insurance company
has merit but take it further. You try to do 26 in a 25 but sensors detect the increase in speed and send a signal back to your vehicle limiting you to 25. But as long as government can see a buck in it, they will give you the ticket too for "Intent to speed". You see it now with the photo radar at stoplights. Its been proven that the yellow light cycles get shorter when photo radar gets installed to catch more red light runners and increase revenue.
 

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Oh yes it does...

The Goldwing Airbag has an EDR!

I am a pretty mellow rider, but I would still prefer to not have Big Brother on board :evil:

On the other hand, I want the extra margin of protection that the airbag offers, so I guess I am stuck.

On a separate note, I think I engaged the ABS when a fox jumped in front of me on a country road. It is soooooo nice to not have to worry about braking technique when the road is off camber and has lots of tar snakes. :shock:

Cheers,
Chris and Helen
 

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Re: Oh yes it does...

Kzindar said:
The Goldwing Airbag has an EDR!
Nope. All connections to it are not standards compliant.
 

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Mark,
Good thought provoking post.

Cell phones are now becoming the law enforcement darling because they can now track and listen to one without the user being aware.

Another system that is being used by law enforcement is On-star, on almost all GM cars and trucks built in the last few years. With a court order the vehicle can be tracked anywhere in the country. They can also turn the microphone on and record the conversations in the vehicle.

Each advancement in technology is coming with a two edged sword.
 

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I read that an EDR was used to help convict Bishop Thomas O'Brien in AZ for a hit & run accident that resulted in a death
 

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Discussion Starter #10
HiYoSilver said:
Mark,
Good thought provoking post.
<snip>
Another system that is being used by law enforcement is On-star, on almost all GM cars and trucks built in the last few years. With a court order the vehicle can be tracked anywhere in the country. They can also turn the microphone on and record the conversations in the vehicle.

Each advancement in technology is coming with a two edged sword.
You hit the nail on the head that it is a two edged sword. The reasons you stated above is exactly why I did not buy a GM product. Unfortunately I didn't read my ower's manual for my Toyota FJ Cruizer until I had already taken delivery of it, and I cannot think of anyone who does. As soon as I read the notice about an EDR being installed, I called up the dealer and asked it if was possible to turn it off or bring the vehicle back. Of course they said no. Just thought I would pass on the word so that you can at least make an informed decision when you buy your next vehicle.
 

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HiYoSilver said:
Mark,
Good thought provoking post.

Cell phones are now becoming the law enforcement darling because they can now track and listen to one without the user being aware.

Another system that is being used by law enforcement is On-star, on almost all GM cars and trucks built in the last few years.
With a court order the
..... All they (LEO) has to say is you are a dope dealer &or a terrorist & NO warrent needed.......chuck............... [quote:2j11ntlh]vehicle can be tracked anywhere in the country. They can also turn the microphone on and record the conversations in the vehicle.

Each advancement in technology is coming with a two edged sword.
[/quote:2j11ntlh]
 

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I seem to remember OJ Simpson or so other "falsely accused" celebrity say, "If it is not on video, it did not happen" How many times in our lives had we wished we had a video camera or other recording device on board the vehicle. False insurance claims, bad drivers, and the real bad guys drive up the cost of everything for the working class. I say let the chip fall where they may.

I would support the use of an EDR but would hope that it had very limited memory.
 

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If your worried about big brother watching? Move north of the arctic circle.

Do folks have any idea as to how many times a day you are video taped???

Banks, Home depot, Mickey D's. What about "speed pass" and your credit cards.

If the Government or Law Enforcement wants, they can track ever where you have been.

although I have to admit, the government turning on the *on star* thing has me a little PO'd :evil:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
J-mac

Your comments about government and law enforcement already being able to track our everyday movements is exactly the point I am trying to bring to light. Every year there is some new device that can be used to monitor, record, or otherwise track what we do in our normal everyday lives. As soon as law enforcement finds out that they CAN track people, they put it to use.

"Landtuna" from the "Automatic Licence Plate Recognition" thread http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73664&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25 aptly pointed out how law enforcement agencies already have the ability to track many of the things we do in public places. Although that is true, most of those methods require specific actions by the officer to collect that data, even if it just means that they have to locate it and get a court order to confiscate it. I admit that the last statement is fast becoming a falsehood as the technology improves such that much of it can be automatically fed to a central data storage area, especially if the source of the data is owned by the government.

Most of the current "manual" methods of collecting data and information require that the officer excercise judgement that the cost of performing the collection is worth the reward, such as the avoidance of an unsafe situation or collection of revenue. With the current trend of automatic data collection (such as the EDR), our lives are being monitored and recorded with the off chance that we MIGHT be doing something that the government thinks is improper. That sounds like a minor shift in viewpoint but it has a huge impact in our personal freedom IMHO.

Have you seen the movie "The Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise? The retinal scan techology was being used for the relatively beneign pupose of identifying the person walking by so that the retailers could customize the advertisements being projected so that they will address you personally and entice you to buy things that you have already have a record of purchasing. That same technology was tapped by the police to track the location and movement of Tom Cruise to expedite his arrest. And oh by the way, he was not guilty of the crime they suspected him of committing. Futuristic? Yes. A possibility in the near future? You better believe it. Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing? Asking it another way, what level of intrusion on your personal life are you willing to accept in the name of greater security?

"A man that trades freedom for security ends up having neither"


Sorry I don't know who said that, but I truely believe that statement is oh so true.
 

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Mark Rowell said:
"Landtuna" from the "Automatic Licence Plate Recognition" thread http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=73664&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25 aptly pointed out how law enforcement agencies already have the ability to track many of the things we do in public places. Although that is true, most of those methods require specific actions by the officer to collect that data, even if it just means that they have to locate it and get a court order to confiscate it.
That "specific action" to which you refer is exactly the same whether said officer is using his eyes and radio or his radar gun. There is nothing different in your scenario except the use of another technology.

Would you, as a law-abiding motorist, prefer to pay higher insurance premiums or suffer the unpunished loss of a loved one because the police had no way to determine who was at fault in a collision?

Do you think the guy next door is cheating the state or yourself by refusing to license his vehicle?

If you owned a car rental business would you prefer to rent your cars to anyone who walked through the door or only those with good driving records?

See how this works?

Mark Rowell said:
"Have you seen the movie "The Minority Report" starring Tom Cruise? The retinal scan techology....<snipped>
Have you seen "1984"?

Much larger personal privacy issues than the use of license plate recognition technology. How about holding our chief executive responsible for the murder of thousands of our military? Or perhaps just insisting he not lie about various and sundry things?

On the grand scale of life in general this technology ranks right up there with.....very little.

Mark Rowell said:
"A man that trades freedom for security ends up having neither" Sorry I don't know who said that, but I truely believe that statement is oh so true.
Ben Franklin said that. And he wasn't worried about the small stuff either.
 

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It never ceases to amaze me as to the amount of belly aching about privacy issues.
It's like the gun control issue. There will never be a government that will take the guns away from law abiding American citizens. At least in our lifetime. Please don't bring up the incident in New Orleans after Katrina. The NRA and the other special interest groups will never let that happen. They've got to many politicians in their pockets.
You're mistaken if you think there is a magical solution to today national security problems without infringing on someone's rights, imaginary or real.
I would like to hears some bonified solution ideas from some of you that may have the right answers to how to handle all of our needs without making someone feel like their privacy is being invaded.

Personally, I like the Automatic License Plate Recognition idea.
 

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Kikker said:
It never ceases to amaze me as to the amount of belly aching about privacy issues.
It's like the gun control issue. There will never be a government that will take the guns away from law abiding American citizens. At least in our lifetime. Please don't bring up the incident in New Orleans after Katrina. The NRA and the other special interest groups will never let that happen. They've got to many politicians in their pockets.
You're mistaken if you think there is a magical solution to today national security problems without infringing on someone's rights, imaginary or real.
I would like to hears some bonified solution ideas from some of you that may have the right answers to how to handle all of our needs without making someone feel like their privacy is being invaded.

Personally, I like the Automatic License Plate Recognition idea.
your kidding right?????? The New Orleans Police confiscated weapons from law abiding citizens, the NRA took the NOPD to court to have those weapons returned to there rightful owners. The GOVERNMENT of New Orleans has refused to give the weapons back? How more BIG BROTHER do you want to get. How much more government control do you want
 

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Kikker said:
It's like the gun control issue. There will never be a government that will take the guns away from law abiding American citizens. The NRA and the other special interest groups will never let that happen. They've got to many politicians in their pockets.
[/b] idea.
There is already a very long list of guns that this government does not allow law abiding citizens to have. The Constitution that guarantees my rights is worthless as long as we stand by and let dishonest politicians do despicable things. Having politicians protect the constitution is the fox guarding the hen house.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
According to Motorcycle Consumer News, January 2007 edition, page 6, MC Bulletins, article titled "Dianese Attemps Airbag Jacket":

"The STM (Sensing Triggering and Memory) unit will have a self-diagnosis procedure to prevent malfunctions and a built-in memory device that acts as a black box."

Sounds like EDRs have transitioned over to motorcycles. :cus: If the data is recorded, it can be subpoenaed and used in court. The only saving grace so far is that the system is not being integrated into production bikes...yet.

Big brother is not only watching, he is taking notes.
:22yikes:
 
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