12th Mar 2019
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Tougher new car laws could reduce your right to privacy

The European Union is currently making widespread changes to vehicle safety standards and practices, and if these changes are accepted, new car owners will have their driving activity recorded.

The new changes would require all manufacturers to build cars that included a black box-style data recording device as well as "speed assistance" in an effort to enforce speed limits. Additional expected changes include a connection point for alcohol interlocks, autonomous emergency braking as well as a crash data recorder. 

If introduced, these changes would most likely be implemented across all European brands sold in Australia, such as Mercedes and Volkswagen. 

Talking about the inclusion of intelligent speed-assistance (ISA), British journalist Andrew Frankel wrote in Drive Nation: “this means you’ll have to tell the car if you intend to speed, and it’ll record the fact, if you do”.

“Actually, it’s the data logger that concerns me most because, combined with the sat nav information that determines the speed limit of any given road, you car will retain every detail of your every journey, and you don’t need to be an Orwell scholar to spot something disturbingly Big Brother about that,” he said.

Exactly what effect these changes will have on the future of policing, insurance and privacy is anybody’s guess. My view is that it can only result in a safer driving environment and pushes us one step closer to having self-driving cars on our road. 

What do you think? Would these changes make our roads safer? Or are you concerned about the privacy of your data? 

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    COMMENTS

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    andromeda143
    12th Mar 2019
    10:26am
    The feature I miss most from the Mercedes I used to own is the speed limiter. For sticking to speed limits, especially in suburban environments, it was invaluable. The cruise control is nowhere near as good.
    Arvo
    12th Mar 2019
    2:07pm
    Buy a Citroen C4, C5, then
    Eddy
    12th Mar 2019
    12:06pm
    Not a problem for me. With CCTV almost everywhere and leaving an electronic trail with credit and debit card transactions, mobile phones and on-line purchasing any so called 'right to privacy' has well and truly bolted. Will be invaluable to law enforcement; if it deters law breakers (from illegal parking and speeding to bank robbery and beyond) it can only be a good thing, or at least I hope it is.
    Greg
    12th Mar 2019
    12:20pm
    This came out weeks ago, probably beaten up by the media as usual. Many, many vehicles already have a "black box" style recorder but currently there is no set standard for the information to be collected. That's what they want to do, standardise the info.

    Using GPS to know what speed limits are what on sections of roads is fraught with danger - the speeds on those roads would need to be in a data base somewhere and I can tell you current GPS systems have poor speed data. In Australia there's 1.6 million km of roads, when you take that into account plus the fact speeds are changing constantly keeping track of the speeds is impossible.
    Daryl
    12th Mar 2019
    12:56pm
    The result of compulsory monitoring could actually be a negative to safety because many people including me would not buy a car equipped like that, people would keep older cars that don't have the benefits of the latest safety technology.
    BillF2
    12th Mar 2019
    1:57pm
    The biggest danger in driving is the loose nut behind the steering wheel, and no number of so-called improvements can do anything about that. As used to be said ' the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. So all the devices designed to 'save lives' will only make motoring more stressful, and the only beneficiaries will be governments and their security mates who will make a motza out of fines and other charges. The days of individual responsibility are being superseded by governments and their machines in the quest for control and money.
    Arvo
    12th Mar 2019
    2:10pm
    Agree. This change will be welcomed if only to disprove traffic camera and traffic police "mistakes".
    musicveg
    12th Mar 2019
    2:13pm
    Sounds to me the insurance companies will love this. More invasion of privacy, why do we have to have everything we do recorded these days, just like every time you call a company you get recorded, sick of it. I am sure we will end up seeing you tube videos appear on how to disconnect it.
    Triss
    12th Mar 2019
    10:41pm
    Stalkers will be jumping up and down with glee.


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