New Law Would Make Motorcycle Data-Logger Info Private

04/14/2014 @ 4:21 pm, by Bryan Delohery11 COMMENTS

New Law Would Make Motorcycle Data Logger Info Private America Black Box Bald Eagle 635x423

On January 14, 2014 Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) proposed a still pending substitute amendment to the Driver Privacy Act, which formerly applied only to vehicles that were required to be equipped with an event data recorder which included passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses.

Now thankfully, the language of the bill has been changed to a broader reaching scope to include motorcycles, but also to ensure that all of the information collected by “black boxes” for any vehicle is now protected.

Section 2, sub-section (a) of the Driver Privacy Act or S. 1925 now reads “Any data in an event data recorder required under part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, regardless of when the passenger motor vehicle in which it is installed was manufactured, is the property of the owner, or, in the case of a leased vehicle, the lessee of the passenger motor vehicle in which the event data recorder is installed.

Sub-section (b) deals with the privacy of the information collected by the EDR and states that only a court or other administrative authority having jurisdiction may access that information and even then, it may only be when said information meets the requirements for admission into evidence.

The data may also be collected if the owner(s) of the vehicle give their written consent to collect it.

Wayne Allard, Vice President of Government Relations for the American Motorcycle Association, is grateful for the work Senators Hoeven and Klobuchar have done to protect the privacy of motorcyclists.

“The American Motorcyclist Association supports the Klobuchar amendment and believes that all information collected by event data recorders belongs to the owner of the vehicle or the person leasing the vehicle — whether they are on two, three or four wheels,” Allard said. “Access to that data should come only at the discretion of the vehicle owner or lessee.”

In an age of instrusive technology, it is great to see some of our elected officials working with the public to protect everyone’s privacy while on the road because let’s face it, the road is the one place many of us go to feel free.

Source: American Motorcyclist Association

Comment:

  1. Boiled frogs says:

    What’s the point of any privacy act if it’s just means the government can override it when it suits them. Any time a act or law is brought in or updated to protect the people, its eventually pushed aside for the convinient national safety and security excuse.

  2. I don’t think you quite get what this is protecting you from…

  3. Lewis Dawson says:

    “Sub-section (b) deals with the privacy of the information collected by the EDR and states that only a court or other administrative authority having jurisdiction may access that information and even then, it may only be when said information meets the requirements for admission into evidence.”

    So am I right to think a court or judge could issue a search warrant allowing the data to be seized? And would the same principle apply to video if I had a GoPro or similar device? Can be seized, but only with search warrant?

  4. Conrice says:

    Subsection B makes me think that this is a waste of time…. I wasn’t worried about Joe Shmoe getting my info – I was worried about “the state” getting it (gov’t and police).

    You have no idea how vague “it may only be when said information meets the requirements for admission into evidence.” is and how it applies to this law.

    That’s okay though. It’s the same type of thing that keeps me from buying new cars that are equipped with those type of tracking devices.

  5. proudAmerican says:

    “The data may also be collected if the owner(s) of the vehicle give their written consent to collect it.”

    I’m guessing that very quickly, all vehicle insurance companies will require you to give up this right, signing a form that says the insurance company can view the information in the event of a claim against the policy (read: you crashed.)

  6. Jason says:

    Vehicles are collecting data to be used for or against the owner in the event of a lawsuit. I personally don’t have a problem with that data being used for accident investigation and any resulting lawsuits. Insurance companies – that is a whole other matter.

    I do agree with proudAmerican; if companies don’t have a clause in their policies already requiring you to give them access to your vehicle’s data they will very soon. Just like almost every company has a clause that all legal disputes will be settled by binding arbitration in a venue of their choosing.

  7. RGR says:

    Excuse my ignorance… I wasn’t aware any current motorcycles had black boxes. Do they? And if so, can they be “accidentally” disconnected or removed? I won’t even put one of those infernal little tattle tale devices in my car that the insurance companies give you a discount for. I don’t wish to make life easier for Big Brother.

  8. proudAmerican says:

    @ RGR:
    I know my 2013 ZX6R has one. I don’t know if any of my modern Hondas do or not.

  9. Harb says:

    “Any data in an event data recorder required under part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations…”

    That’s all well and good for things like cars and buses that have/will have mandatory data recorders, but what about things like high-end sportbikes that have various sorts of data acquisition as an option or standard feature? Could a judge argue that the data is fair game since the tech is not explicitly required to be on the motorcycle?

  10. Dave Daniels says:

    Thanks for the article Bryan, but you’ve brought up more questions than any real information.
    Would you care to answer what this really means for us?

  11. This law currently is a bigger issue in the four-wheeled world right now, but you can see it coming down the pipe for motorcycles as well. I can only think of a few bikes that have built-in GPS: Panigale R, Mission R/RS are two that come to mind right away.

    For private party concerns, you have all this data being stored by your bike. This prevents an OEM, or another third-party from having access to where you’ve been, how fast you went, where you stopped, etc, without your consent. OEMs wouldn’t have access to it, they can’t sell it, they can’t data-mine it, etc. This is a good thing.

    As for public party use, this creates a basic restriction for law enforcement and courts. The rules of evidence are complex, but center around relevancy to the case, and purposeful bias. Fourth Amendment protection would also play a rule here. What the law here creates is an expectation to privacy for those who still have data-logging equipment. This isn’t an absolute right in the eyes of the constitution, but it does have safeguards and hurdles. This is a good thing, though probably not the silver bullet tin-foil hat wearers want.

    If you hit a pedestrian with your vehicle, and have a data-logger, a court will allow the state or complainant to admit your data into evidence to show your speed, trajectory, etc. You’re never going to get out of that one. If the government wants to use your data for say other purposes, say traffic analysis, road taxes, or tracking your crazy ass, 4th Amendment concerns will have to be overcome.