EU’s Mandatory eCall Technology Could Spark Privacy Concerns

EU’s safety idea to add mandatory eCall units to cars is expected to start in March 2018. Every new car sold in the EU will need to be equipped with the new technology as the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee voted in favour of the draft EU rules on Tuesday, and it is expected to become law in April.

The system in itself is a great idea. It consists of a black box that detects a crash and automatically calls the emergency services and a button on the dashboard to manually call 112 when needed. Inside is a cell phone like sim card and it’s also fitted with a GPS sensor. This is to send your coordinates to the emergency services, but it also sparks concerns among privacy groups on how it could be misused.

“Motorists will not be comfortable forcibly having a black box installed which is capable of recording and transmitting their exact location when they are driving,” said Emma Carr, of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch

The eCall units can’t be turned off and will be tested in MoT checks, but there’s also concerns that insurance companies will misuse the information to get out of paying where they should, perhaps using it by getting around it due to minor technicalities.

A separate study by the EU Data Protection Supervisor warns of the “potential intrusiveness” of eCall given that it operates on the same basis as mobile phones and “potentially enables the constant collection of the vehicle’s geolocation”.

There is no doubt that this technology can save many lives, but it also needs proper safeguarding against unlawful use of personal data, tracking, and hacking.

Thanks to DailyMail for providing us with this information