These original Kirt's Cogitations™
may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt
– noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Big Brother's Along for the Ride
might be a patron saint of travel watching over you, and it isn't necessarily
St. Christopher. If you drive a car, owned, leased or rented, from around
the year 2000 onward, there is a good chance it has an Event Data Recorder
(EDR) onboard. Much like a flight data recorder that is on commercial
airliners to provide ex post facto information about events leading
up to an accident, the EDR is a GPS-enabled microprocessor system that
collects and stores real-time information on position, speed and acceleration.
Unlike pilots, though, most drivers are not aware of the devices monitoring
their activity. While there are many
positive uses for the collected data that assists in R&D for
designing safer vehicles and driver education, our friends the Trial
Lawyers have used the information to prosecute operators in court. Convictions
have been obtained based on EDR data for drunken drivers who have killed
innocent people - a good thing indeed. However, insurance and other
companies, as well as private detectives have acquired the ability to
read EDR contents and use the information against drivers. In one infamous
case, a national rental car company was forced to reimburse a client
for fees imposed against his credit card ($450) for speeding based on
EDR data. I just thought you would like to know before planning your