Spits, 30 Nov 2011: 'Doubts over black box in car'
"Privacy watchdogs are concerned about the introduction of 'a black box' in passenger cars. The Rotterdam-Rijnmond police are presenting this so-called Crashcube this afternoon in the hope that this technology will help settle traffic accidents. But the Privacy First Foundation warns of possible misuse.
Besides planes, cars are now also getting a black box. The device is called the Crashcube and should help police analyse accidents.
The Crashcube allows forensic experts to read on-the-spot information about accidents, such as the speed and g-force of the car involved, Rotterdam Rijnmond police reported in a press statement.
The data from the box is incontrovertible and will therefore provide strong evidence in court of who is guilty of the accident, says the Rotterdam police who developed the Crashcube together with the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), Rijksdienst voor Wegverkeer (RDW) and Rijkswaterstaat.
Privacy First Foundation president Bas Filippini does not see the point of a cube in the courts. "It is almost always clear in court who the guilty party is, and to give up your privacy for those few cases where it is not. That goes way too far for me." According to the foundation, the device affects personal freedom. "A driver should be able to decide for himself whether he wants a Crashcube in his car, but you will always see that at some point these things become mandatory. This does not fit with our constitutional freedom to be free and happy in public spaces." Filippini fears the Cube will be abused. "It starts with accident analysis, but soon the police will pull you over and read your Crashcube on which they will give you a fine because you drove 150 yesterday.''