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Black Boxes in Cars - Good Idea or Invasion of privacy.

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by IcyPatriot, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FoxNews.com - Government Touts Crash Recorders, But Privacy Advocates Sound Alarm

    Well ... the 2nd quote makes sense however - we can be tracked with our cellphones already ... so I think the tracking the car issue may be a moot point. I think I wouldn't mind this idea - seems like it would make the car manufacturers a bit more honest in the safety area.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  2. chicowalker

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    I don't think it's the government's place to do this.

    I will admit, government requirements have spurred safety advances in the auto industry -- helping free market competition along, if you will. I think this should be an option, though -- not a government requirement. If this could be shown to be a tremendous enhancement to safety, there could be a compelling argument. But this is requiring the tradeoff of personal privacy for some vague benefits down the road.

    This passage in the article sums up what I think is the more compelling viewpoint on this: "...Verdi says current federal and state laws require that car buyers be told what kind of recording system they’re getting, but they don’t spell out who owns the data that’s being kept. He says it should belong solely to the owner of the car, not to the manufacturer, and that it should be publicly obtained only through a court order in the course of an accident investigation..."

    The data still exists in many cars anyway, it's just a matter of who can access it and how.

    As for cars that don't record it yet, I think it's mainly a matter of time as cars become increasingly sophisticated.
  3. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Surprise, I'm not a fan. I like the idea of optional activation of any black boxes, but given the fed's demonstrated willingness to conduct effectively warrantless surveillance, it's a disturbing prospect.

    I'm assuming there would be a grandfather clause in the case of a federal mandate. All the more reason for me to get my classic car on the road, asap. :D
  4. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, or a contested divorce hearing.

    :)
  5. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Another effort at more regulation that will only increase the cost of vehicles and intrude on our personal liberty...

    This is a law made that reacts to a specific event(terrible idea), and will have many unintended consequences...
  6. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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  7. chicowalker

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    :) I didn't catch that part, actually (accident investigation). While I don't think it should be a goverenment mandate, I also don't think access should be limited to accident investigations. If it is included at the option of either the car maker (with customer made aware of it) or customer, it should be available for any investigation, with a court order.
  8. Real World

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    WTF? Why is this even necessary? This is an absolute invasion of one's privacy. No thanks at all. Are people out of their mind?
  9. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    Let me give you the flip side. I own a GMC SUV that has the black box. The dealer informed me at time of purchase and offered to remove it. I declined and knew it was there. I had an accident last year when another driver coming the other direction cut across my line and came to a dead stop while I was obeying the speed limit ( 30 mph) and I t-boned her BMW and totaled it. She tried telling the cop I was speeding and 'had to be going 50 mph". I remembered that I had the black box and offered to give the cop permission to access the box to prove I was going the speed limit. Other driver turned white and backtracked. Bottom line is they got cited and I didn't even habe to pay the deductible, and the cop didn't even bother accessing the data. Just knowing ti was there and offering it up ( voluntarily) saved me aggravation and $$$. That being said I had the option to remove it and I made the choice, not some other party or the gubment.
  10. Real World

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    That's great and all, but I can probably come up with a million reasons, examples, or stories as to why it's good to:

    Not allow people to own guns.
    For every citizen to wear a GPS ankle bracelet
    For the gubmit to regulate your daily diet
    Confiscate all your earnings above $75k
    Have access to your bank accounts
    Be able to give your kids drugs without your consent
    Put camera's in your home
    Etc, etc, etc, etc....


    My point is that there is always a good intention, benefit, or positive reason to allow something that infringes on your rights. Once the window is cracked open a little bit, a "voluntary" box with only owner access becomes a mandatory box with federal ownership. I would never allow such a box in my car. Wait till someone tracks you, or your spouse hires a lawyer to see where you've been at every minute of every day for the last 10 years. I'll pass thanks.
  11. STFarmy

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    Exactly. I'm all set with that.
  12. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    I think the Mrs is thinking of this case:

    E-ZPass records out cheaters in divorce court - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets - msnbc.com
  13. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You make a good point but as long as you have a cell phone they can track you anyways if they wanted to. That's why the criminals and terrorists buy the throw away phones.
  14. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    No, actually that never entered my mind. I was thinking about a friend of mine who actually hid a GPS in his wife's car so he could track where she went for their divorce hearing.

    Makes me nuts.

    How on earth are our children ever going to learn creativity when technology is making it impossible for them to lie to us????

    There is a certain amount of story telling which goes on in families with teenaged children. They know, we know it, everyone knows it. It's protection for everyone.

    Fer instance, Kid says he's going to Jack's house to study. Mom knows by the amount of Dad's aftershave that Kid has splashed all over his being and the fact that he's wearing a new t-shirt and clean socks that he's lying through his newly flossed teeth. Kid leaves house. Kid comes home with shi!-eating grin on his face and a strange mark on his neck. Mom says, with just a tinge of irony in her voice, "Did you learn anything?" Kid says, "Oh yeah." Mom says, "Looks like you've bruised your neck. Did you and Jack get into a fight?" Kid grins sheepishly, mumbles something unintelligible, turns up his coat collar and runs out of the room.

    See, everyone knows. Everyone's ok with it.

    Don't need no stinkin GPS to take all the fun out of it. How ya gonna grow up if someone knows your every move and you know they know your every move?

    Poor kids'll be afraid to make a move. Poor moms will have no way of knowing when their kids are growing up.

    Bad for learning how to make decisions and bad for learning what risk is worth risking.

    Phooey on the blackboxes.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  15. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    Was that considered admissible? I mean, isn't that like recording someone without their permission (a Linda Tripp kinda deal)?
  16. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It was a few years back with GPS was still pretty new....It never got to court but it sure convinced her to back off her demands.

    Even if something's not admissible in the actual courtroom it can still work pretty well as a blackmail technique or a scare tactic.

    Call me old fashioned but I prefer to trust people whenever possible - I certainly find it preferable to spying on them.

    How horrible it must be to be a kid or a spouse and to know that your parent/spouse is watching your every move because they find you untrustworthy on your own merit. It must certainly give kids (and maybe adults) the feeling that everyone expects them to be inherently bad - and so, why bother even trying to be good?
  17. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    I am torn on this one when it comes to kids. When my daughter was younger, I tried to make it harder for her to make the wrong decisions. Did that mean I didn't trust her? Maybe I was not yet sure of her judgment. It might be good to know where your child is if they are late or missing.

    I also think that monitoring their online activity is a good idea. As we have seen with "To Catch a Predator", there are some bad people out there.
  18. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oh, I don't mean not to make it hard for them, I just think that if you do a good job in the early years it's not so much of a problem later on. I read somewhere that most of us learn everything we need to know about ethics and morality before we are 4 years old - and we learn it through what we see not what we are told. If you give your kids a good background, filled with love and trust and common sense eventually you have to trust that you did a good job and start letting go. This doesn't mean blind trust - it means keeping an eye on things and being ready to step in if and when it's needed - but not before.

    I was very lucky, I think. My kids always called when they were going to be late - I can only remember a time or two, spread out over 3 kids, where I actually had to sit up and bite my fingernails. (Unfortunately one of those times one of them ended up in a police station - but he was more worried about them not letting him call me than he was about being arrested so I did manage to instill the fear of Mom into him, at least, if not with enough sense to know that a fake ID at a strip club can and will get you arrested.)

    Maybe girl children are different, though. I only had boys. I can see how the parents of a girl would have different concerns and different worries.

    Agreed -albeit with a big grin for the "bad people" remark. Again, I was pretty lucky - my kids got old before Facebook and MySpace. I never allowed them much time on the computer, anyhow. We only had one and it was mine. They had to ask to use it, I limited the time allowed (which is not hard when there are 4 people looking for time and you're the boss-person who pays the bills) and the few times I caught anyone looking at dirty pictures I simply busted the offender down to AOL Juvie-Time which effectively (at the time) put an end to porn surfing.

    I always waited for them to screw up, though. I never preemptively banned anything or locked anything or searched anything. I tried to raise them with the understanding that I would trust them until they betrayed the trust. I also tried to instill in them the belief that your word is really all you have and if you destroy it, you destroy yourself.

    I think it took.

    WP will be mad at me for saying so but I was truly blessed in that regard.

    I'm also truly happy I do not have children in today's world - there is too much temptation to rely on things like blackboxes and GPS and cell phone tracking and debit card transactions - the temptation to be lazy and rely on technology would have been great.
  19. Leave No Doubt

    Leave No Doubt PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thank you.
  20. The Brandon Five

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    No arguments here. The one thing we tried to do was make sure that she always kept us in the loop with what was going on with her. That sort of obviated the need to keep her under our thumb. That started when she was much younger. She always got a lesser punishment if she told the truth...I think that kept the lines of communication open in the long run. If your kid is talking to you about what is going on in their life or what they are thinking of doing you can at least speak into it.

    I'll never forget the day we were walking through the mall when she was about 14 and men my age were blatantly checking her out. Also, boys are not really sure that their father will not actually kill them (girls just laugh at him)...just kidding.

    Sorry, I think that 40 year-old guys who are looking to hook up with someone they believe to be 13 or 14 are creepy.

    Yeah, the shared computer thing is one way to minimize the online risks. With the advent of smartphones people must be pulling out their hair (of course, they could always just not buy one for their kid).

    Yeah, I suppose that the fear of disappointment works best, but only if you are lucky enough to have a kid who has that fear. Some people are not as lucky as you and I were. I have friends who have that one kid who is just off the reservation (the others are all fine)...I have no idea how I would deal with that.

    He will be probably be mad at you regardless of what you say.

    I don't know if it is lazy as much as desperate. I suppose that if you rely on this more than spending time on your relationship with your kid that it could be considered a cop-out.
  21. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ok, I amend my previous statement. I'm REALLY glad I didn't have daughters.

    I was "grinning" because I was thinking of the other thread here where that Congressman from NY sent the barechested pic to some woman he met online. I believe she was a government employee, not a child. I also think that 40 year old guys looking to hook up with a teenager girl of any age is well beyond creepy.

    Of course they could refrain - and why wouldn't they? Good rule of thumb which always worked for me - no television until you could afford to buy one for your own bedroom, no driver's license until you could afford to pay your own auto insurance and no phone until you paid your own phone bill. To be fair, I paid fairly well for doing work around the house which I know alot of parents think is wrong - kids should have chores and all that. Which they should, but they should also be rewarded sometimes for doing the right thing - which is helping out around the house. If nothing else they learned the value of exchanging services for goods.

    Nothing you can do, I suppose. Pray alot.

    Being a parent has got to be the hardest job in the world - and not only can't you quit, you can't even lay down on the job once in awhile.
  22. Patsfanin Philly

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  23. chicowalker

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    You're sure you don't already have one? :)

    The exchange b/t you and the previous poster shows how this should work, imo -- let the consumer choose, rather than the government imposing it. Some will want it, some won't -- and some car manufacturers may make it standard (perhaps not wanting to get blamed by inept drivers who don't know which pedal is which), which still lets the consumer choose in the end.
  24. The Brandon Five

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    I see what you did there.

    I overpaid my daughter for chores and for grades...but she needed the money to pay for her own clothing. I got the idea from some parenting course that my parents were using for my over-the-top problem little brother. The basic idea was that you needed to create a need in order to have real incentive (as opposed to just "wants"). I think it also served to teach her the value of money and how to make good financial decisions. She opened an IRA when she was 19 years old, which blew me away.
  25. The Brandon Five

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  26. Real World

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    I'm all set either way. It'll be like the seat belt. At first it was completely voluntary. Then it was required for children 12 or under. Next all minors had to wear one. The next step (shocker eh?) was that the gubmit mandated all passengers wear one. Last but not least, they imposed a $50 fine for failure to comply. Catch my drift Chico?
  27. chicowalker

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    At least in the case of the seatbelt a lot of good comes from it. That argument can't even be made here, as far as I can tell.
  28. Patsfanin Philly

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  29. wistahpatsfan

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    When I was in high school in the late 70s,-early 80s, my parents had no idea what i was doing during the weekdays or nights. I played three sports so much of my time was taken up by practice and games, and in between i worked. Any time left over was for me. I had a girlfriend, but sometimes I wound down with friends in the woods, drove around, or went hunting and fishing. I can't even imagining what i would have though of growing up in today's surveilance-crazed, paranoid society. I made so many mistakes when i was a kid, but i learned so much about decision-making and time control. I bought my own POS car, paid my own gas, and never EVER asked my parents for "spending money" after I started working. If my car needed a fuel pump, I went to the junkyard and installed it myself with a screwdriver and a 9/16 wrench when i was 17.

    I don't think things are the same, but there is no good reason to be afraid enough to monitor your kid's every move, unless of course you are worried you have done an inadequate job of parenting. If you indulge your child her entire life maybe you should watch her. If you teach them the value of their own life and show them how important it is to respect others as they would themselves, then I think there would be serious repercussions if you hover over them at a time when they need to become themselves. What signal do we send them when we show them that we don't trust them? Everyone says they worry more about other kids- not their own. That's crap. Truth is, people are more worried that they have done a crappy job as parents either because they worked too much, let them watch too much TV and video games, or over-indulged their every wish. I think deep down, parents today know they are producing ignorant, self-absorbed punks who are unable to think for themselves or behave responsibly on their own. That's why black boxes in cars is even being discussed today.

    I agree with the Mrs. You have to let go and you can if you've done a good job. Trust of parents is huge for a teenager. Putting a kid in a blackbox situation being monitored by cameras and GPS should result in rebellion and resistance in a normal human being. I worry about a world in which teenagers never rebel and do what they're told all the time. I suppose we deserve what we get when we set up such a society where children own $300 phones and stay in the house until they're 25.
  30. Real World

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    Which reinforces my original point in this thread. Lots of freedom stripping, individual liberty eliminating, do good policies and laws can be justified by the "a lot of good that comes from it" argument. The more and more "a lot of good" laws that are passed, the less and less individual liberty we retain. I'm all set thanks. I'm an adult, and I should never have to wear a seat belt if I don't want to, just like it's my car, and no one should ever mandate that I put a GPS tracking device inside it. Wait till they start regulating your diet for the "a lot of good" it's going to do for the public.

    Waiter: "Would you want desert?
    Customer: Absolutely. What kind of ice cream do you have?
    Waiter: Ice cream? We can't sell that.
    Customer: ????? Ok, how about a nice piece of chocolate cake then.
    Waiter: Cake? I'm sorry, cake was banned 3 years ago.
    Customer: Banned? Well, what do you have then.
    Waiter: Well, how does a tofu cabbage rice wafer drizzled in elephant seaman sound?"

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