Event Data Recorders (EDRs) in cars - Are they used for Canadian Models? Privacy concerns?

Hello Everyone,


I have more questions than answers when it comes to Event Data Recorders (EDRs) in cars. Data has been extracted from the EDRs to conduct accident investigations and also used in court cases in both the States & Europe. In the States, adding EDRs to all cars will be mandatory by 2015.


Maybe it's just personal ignorance on the subject, but what about Canada? Are EDRs used extensively on Canadian models? Most media exposure is on laws in the US, but what about Canadian laws regarding EDRs? Are there big differences?


One last concern is on the subject of privacy and who just "owns" the EDR data. My personal question is just what are the privacy concerns? What are the implications - especially where insurance claims are concerned?


Would anyone like to give any thoughts on these issues?


- Wes

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Hi Wes

Unless you drive a very old car or something less traditional like an exotic, you can bet your car has an EDR. It's a vital part of your car's air-bag deployment system and there is no difference between Canada and the USA. However, the data recording capabilities can vary from one auto manufacturer to the next. The US legislation you are referring to will set out minimum uniform standards. For example, some only record the last 5 seconds and I believe this will increase to 30 seconds under the new rules.

Canada has no specific laws regarding the use of EDR data in the courts. Accident investigators will extract data in serious accidents and there is a famous Canadian case were EDR data lead to a conviction. Most EDRs measure the last few seconds of brake force, g-force, acceleration, speed, time and seat belt use.I don't know what part of that EDR data would be a privacy concern. While it could prove you are guilty, it could just as easily prove your innocence. That's especially important in accidents without witnesses.


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