Senators announce bill to protect drivers’ privacy

“In an increasingly data driven world, we need to be sure that whatever government does it respects the privacy of every individual,” Hoeven said Tuesday. “EDRs can serve a useful function by helping to make cars and streets safer, but access to the data should be treated as personal except under very specific circumstances.”

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The EDR records direction, speed, seatbelt usage, among other things. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated that all light-duty vehicles be installed with EDRs and more than 96 percent of 2013 car models have the technology already.

The senators said they were concerned because currently there are no limitations on what information can be recorded and who can use it.

Several states have passed EDR privacy laws, but Klobuchar and Hoeven said all American drivers deserve the same protections. Their bill would allow the data to be used if it is requested by a court of law or an owner consents.

“While technologies like EDRs have shown tremendous promise in improving safety on our roadways, we need to make sure that technological advancements don’t outpace privacy protections,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan bill makes clear that the vehicle owner is also the rightful owner of any data collected by an EDR, while still ensuring law enforcement has the tools they need to protect citizens.”