On January 14th U.S. Senators John Hoeven (R.-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) introduced S. 1925, the Driver Privacy Act.
The bill would codify that information collected by an event data recorder – commonly referred to as a black box – would be the legal property of the owner or lessee of a passenger motor vehicle.
However, as currently written, S. 1925 only provides privacy protections to vehicles that are specifically mentioned in CFR 49, section 563. This section does not include any reference to motorcycles.
As a result, the privacy protections offered to passenger motor vehicles would not extend to motorcyclists. In fact, all information collected from motorcyclists would remain unprotected.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) supports clarifying who owns the data collected in black boxes – currently only 14 states have laws relating to ownership of data in an event data recorder.
The AMA suggests that this issue needs to be resolved because, as Sen. Hoeven said on the floor of the U.S. Senate: “There are more than 45 different data points that are in fact recorded right now. Again, the manufacturer can change this – add to it. There are no limitations or restrictions or guidelines or requirements on what manufacturers can have the event data recorder do.”
While event data recorders are not currently required for motorcycles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration already requires all passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses to be equipped with a black box. The AMA believes it is only a matter of time before this mandate extends to motorcycles.
The AMA fully supports extending the provisions in S. 1925 to motorcyclists, in much the same manner that the U.S. House of Representatives’ H.R. 2414, the Black Box Privacy Protection Act, would.