Mandatory Black Boxes in Cars Spark Controversy

Mark Greenblatt looks at the privacy, safety debate over new vehicle technology.
2:26 | 12/08/12

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Transcript for Mandatory Black Boxes in Cars Spark Controversy
These days, as you may know, cars have a lot of features that the owners of the model-t back in the day could not imagine. Seat warmers, dvd players, wi-fi. Soon, there may be a controversial and mandatory new feature, the ability to spy on your every move. Mark greenblatt is on the story. Reporter: Good morning to you. Some call that sneaky. Others say it will improve safety. Now, the government wants to make it mandatory for your car to have a black box, like they have on airplanes. investigative reporters. Timothy murray of massachusetts crashed this government vehicle, it's his own car that did him in. Murray told police he had his seat belt on and claimed he wasn't speeding. But a black box likehis revealed he was actually traveling unbelted at more than 100 miles per hour. You're probably used to hearing about black boxes helping investigators solve airplane crashes. But car manufacturers hav quietly placed similar devices in more and more vehicles. Turning our own cars into snitches. Wasn't that good of -- very nervous. Reporter: Former new jersey governor jon corzine found that out, getting seriously hurt in this crash. Only to reveal that the governor didn't have a belt on. While the state trooper driving him was traveling 95 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone. I'm going to do some things on this seat belt issue. Reporter: And now, the federal government wants to require every small vehicle made from now on to get one of those black boxes, saying this proposal will give us the critical insight and information we need to save more lives. But privacy advocates say, hold on. There are important safety concerns here and they shouldn't be ignored. But there's also press privacy concerns. Reporter: Because without safeguards, your black box will become a spy. Make sure that the owner of the vehicle controls the data. They own it and they control it. Reporter: Some insurance companies have already started requiring customers to hand over black box data after a crash. They're putting that in the fine print of contracts. But this isn't a done deal yet. Dan, bianna, the public has 60 days to weigh in. Fascinating. Let's check the fast and get

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