skip to main contentskip to popular page linksskip to main navigation links
photo of Mike Capuano Michael E. Capuano representing the 7th district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives Go to the House of Representatives homepage
Like Mike on Facebook Visit Mike's video channel on YouTube Like Mike on Facebook


 My Schedule My Voting Record District Maps Register To Vote FAQ Site Map e-Updates
Print Version-Reps. Capuano (D-Mass.) and Bono (R-Calif.) File Bill to Protect Auto Owners' Privacy


Reps. Capuano and Bono File Bill to Protect Auto Owners' Privacy
Legislation Calls for Disclosure of Presence and a Disable Function for Automobile "Black Boxes"

June 15, 2006

In an effort to protect consumer privacy, Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Mary Bono (R-Calif.) introduced legislation calling for automobile dealers to disclose to consumers the presence of "black boxes" — event data recorders — in new automobiles. The bill, H.R. 5609, also requires manufacturers to provide consumers with the option of enabling and disabling such devices in future automobiles.

"Consumers have a right to know if this type of technology is present in their automobile and they should have the option of disabling the recording function if they choose to do so. This is a basic issue of privacy," stated Congressman Mike Capuano, who introduced similar legislation in the 108th Congress.

"Many motorists are unaware that their driving habits are being monitored and recorded by the black boxes in their cars," said Congresswoman Bono. "Similar concerns regarding the impact on consumers prompted me to introduce legislation to stop the practice of computer spyware programs that are unknowingly downloaded to monitor a user's internet habits. In the same way, these black boxes raise both serious consumer privacy and 'right to know' issues."

"Black boxes," or "event data recorders" are often installed in new cars to record how drivers react in the seconds leading up to accidents. According to Capuano and Bono, most consumers are not aware that their vehicles are recording data that has the potential of being used against them in a civil or criminal proceeding, or by their insurer to increase rates. There are no federal laws clarifying the rights of a vehicle owner to ownership of the recorded data. In the absence of this, several states have begun to create different standards of ownership and rights for recorded data.

H.R. 5609 will require automobile dealers to disclose to consumers if an event data recorder is installed in their vehicles, the data collection capabilities of such a device and how such data may be used. The legislation also requires that an event data recorder include a function whereby the consumer has the option of enabling or disabling the recording function. Once disabled, the legislation states that the recording function shall not resume functioning until the consumer chooses to reinstate it.


Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208


Home | About | Biography | Contact | Issues | Links | News | Schedules | Services

E-Updates | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Accessibility

110 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
P: (617) 621-6208
F: (617) 621-8628

  Constituent Services Click to close menu
  Casework and Assistance
  Immigration Casework
  Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
  Presidential Greetings
  Washington, D.C. Attractions
  U.S. Service Academy Nominations
  Media Center Click to close menu
  Press Items
  Recent Votes
  Video and Audio
  Legislative Work Click to close menu
  Recent Votes
  Voting Record
  Sponsored Legislation
  Earmark Requests
  Committees and Caucuses
  Ethics Task Force
  Schedules Click to close menu
  My Schedule
  House Floor Summary
  Weekly House Schedule
  Annual House Calendar
  Weekly Senate Schedule
  Our District Click to close menu
  The 7th District Over the Years
  Nobel Prize Winners
  Interesting facts about Massachusetts
  Massachusetts Links
  Links Click to close menu
  Massachusetts Links
    State Government
    About the 7th District
    Arts, Culture and Attractions
    Chambers of Commerce
    Colleges and Universities
    Exploring Massachusetts
    Hospitals and Health Organizations

  Federal Government Links - Official Government Portal
    Legislative Branch
    Executive Branch
    Judicial Branch
    Federal Agencies
    Kids' Pages
    Register to Vote
    Washington, D.C. Attractions
    Business Opportunities with the Government
  Contact Click to close menu
  District Office
  Washington, D.C. Office
  Office Hours Program
  Community Meetings
  E-mail Me