Black boxes and GPS in cars could encroach on the freedom of New Jersey residents as well as others throughout the nation. It appears that the potential for auto-manufacturers to use GPS technology to determine when drivers break laws is already available in most new cars.

Ford’s executive VP of global marketing Jim Farley said as much at the January International Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas: We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing.”

That’s not very reassuring for drivers, especially those of us who value our privacy and our rights to freedom in this democracy. It appears that the Government Accountability Office has found that car-makers store private data gathered from navigation systems without letting car owners ask for it to be erased. Nine of these 10 automakers share data with traffic information providers.

While you are not personally identified, it could come to that at some point in the future. Initially, location tracking was developed so that in the event of a 911 emergency call, phone callers’ locations could be identified quickly. Now, however, these same features meant to keep us safe could put our freedom of being innocent until proven guilty in danger.

Is George Orwell’s classic scary tale of the future, 1984, in which “Big Brother” was everywhere, inhibiting people’s freedoms and lives, just around the corner, or are we already there?

For those facing criminal charges such as a DUI, vehicular homicide, or other crimes, accessing the black box of the car in question, could put the defense at a disadvantage.


The Law Office of Mallon and Tranger protects the rights of those accused of crimes and those who have been injured due to the carelessness or negligence of another. We have offices in Ocean County or Monmouth County. Our lawyers can be reached by phone at 732-702-0333 or by filling out the intake form.