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Bill will shield access to car 'black box' data

Published March 13, 2013 9:36 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Car owners should soon be able to ban others from using data in their car's "black box."

The Senate voted 27-0 to pass HB127. Because it was amended, it was sent back to the House for further consideration.

It would clarify that data in "black boxes" in newer vehicles belong to the vehicle's owners, and can be accessed only with permission of at least one of them. The data recorders track such things as speed, direction, steering performance and when brakes or seat belts are used.

"Many people are not even aware that their vehicle contains a black box," said Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, the Senate sponsor of the bill.

Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain, sponsor of the bill, said Utah law has been silent about who owns the data, and different police agencies have different policies about who may access it and when.

The bill would also allow courts to issue warrants to obtain data for accident investigations or lawsuits. It also allows services such as OnStar to notify police in the case of accidents about the location of a vehicle. Thirteen other states have similar laws.

Lee Davidson