A bill that has already passed the U.S. Senate and its now making its way to the House, where it is expected to be approved with little opposition, is raising the alarm among citizen rights groups. The legislation would require that all new cars sold in 2015 and beyond be equipped with a so-called black box--a data recorder that would collect all information on the driver's habits.
While the information would remain in the possession of each driver, the bill gives the federal government the right to access the contents of the box whenever it deems it necessary, when it can prove an overriding need to do so. The courts can order confiscation of the contents of the box. And in the event the Secretary of Transportation deems it necessary in an investigation, citizens would be forced to turn over the box to the federal government.
The black box is similar to the flight data recorders that are fitted on aircraft.