Privacy of Data from Event Data Recorders: State Statutes

vehicles on a road

Event data recorders (EDRs), also known as "black boxes" or "sensing and diagnostic modules," capture information, such as the speed of a vehicle and the use of a safety belt, in the event of a collision to help understand how the vehicle’s systems performed. Most car manufacturers currently install these devices in new vehicles. 

In December 2015, the federal Driver Privacy Act of 2015 was enacted. It places limitations on data retrieval from EDRs and provides that information collected belongs to the owner or lessee of the vehicle.

At least 17 states—Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington—have enacted statutes relating to event data recorders and privacy. Among other provisions, these states provide that data collected from a motor vehicle event data recorder may only be downloaded with the consent of the vehicle owner or policyholder, with certain exceptions.

PLEASE NOTE: NCSL serves state legislators and their staff. This site provides general comparative information only and should not be construed as legal advice. 

State Statutes

Examples of Privacy Provisions in State Statutes

State

Statute

Requires disclosure of event data recorders ("sensing diagnostic
modules") in vehicles

Prohibits download of data, except under stated conditions:

Other

Arkansas

Ark. Code § 23-112-107

In a written notice at time of new vehicle purchase from dealership. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s written consent; 2) court order; 3) emergency investigation; 4) emergency medical care; 5) medical and vehicle safety research; or 6) to diagnose, service, or repair the vehicle; 7) probable cause of an offense.

Permission cannot be a condition of payment/ settlement of an insurance claim, or of a lease or insurance agreement.

California

Calif. Veh. Code § 9951

In the owner’s manual of new cars. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle.

 

Colorado

CRS §§ 42-4-2401 to -2403

In or along with the owner’s manual of vehicles manufactured after May 2007 and sold or leased in Colorado. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s written consent within 30 days of retrieval; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; 5) in legal discovery.

 

Connecticut

CGS § 14-164aa

No, but requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; 5) legal discovery.

Data may not be destroyed or altered after a crash until after a reasonable period to allow law enforcement to obtain a warrant.

Delaware

18 Del. Code § 3918

By insurers installing data reporting devices in private vehicles without consent of the policyholder.

1) with policyholder's consent

Applies to private passenger vehicle insurance issued to individual policyholders.

Maine

Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 29-A § 1971,
§ 1972, § 1973

In the owner’s manual of new cars sold or leased in Maine. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; or 5) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel; 6) legal discovery.

 

Montana

Mont. Code §§ 61-12-1001 to -1004

 

1) with owner's written consent; 2) if a court orders the production of the data pursuant to a valid search warrant; 3) to facilitate or determine the need for emergency medical care; 4) by order of the district court provided that the owner has notice and 48 hours to object and request a hearing; or; 5) for the purposes of improving motor vehicle safety, security, or traffic management and provided that the identity of the owner or driver is not disclosed in connection with that retrieved data. Does not apply to data that is stored or transmitted pursuant to a subscription service agreement.

An insurer may not condition the payment or settlement of an owner's claim on the owner's consent to the retrieval or use of the data on a motor vehicle event data recorder; nor require an owner to consent to the retrieval or use of the data on a motor vehicle event data recorder as a condition of providing the policy or lease.

Nevada

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484D.485

In owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in Nevada. Dealers must disclose to purchaser. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; or 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle.

 

New Hampshire

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 357-G:1

In the owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in New Hampshire. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; or 4) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel.

 

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. § 39:10B-7 to -9

 

1) with owner’s consent; 2) pursuant to a search warrant; 3) for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety, security, performance, operation, or traffic management, including for medical research; 4) for the sole purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle; 5) for the sole purpose of determining the need for or facilitating an emergency medical response in the event of a motor vehicle crash; or 6) pursuant to a legally proper discovery request or order in a civil action.

Prohibits altering or deleting data on a recording device, or knowingly destroying a recording device with the intent to prevent access to or destroy the recorded data within two years after a crash event that resulted in bodily injury or death.

New York

NY Veh. & Traffic Law § 416-b

In or along with the owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in New York. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; or 5) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel.

 

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code § 51-07-28

In the purchase contract of new vehicles sold or leased in North Dakota; applies to 2007 or later models. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) for vehicle safety research; or 4) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle.

Permission cannot be a condition of an insurance agreement

Oregon

Ore. Rev. Stat. §§ 105.925 to .948

No

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; or 4) medical or vehicle safety research; 5) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel; or 6) probable cause of an offense.

Permission cannot be a condition of payment/settlement of an insurance claim, or of a lease or insurance agreement

Texas

Tex. Trans. Code § 547.615

In the owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in Texas. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; or 4) vehicle safety research.

 

Utah

Utah Code § 41-1a-1501 to- 1504 

In agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s written consent; 2) court order; 3) emergency investigation; 4) emergency medical care; 5) medical and vehicle safety research; or 6) to diagnose, service, or repair the vehicle; 7) civil discovery rules.

Provides that event data recorded on an event data recorder is private and is the personal information of the motor vehicle's owner.

Virginia

Va. Code § 38.2-2212(C)(s),
§ 38.2-2213.1,
§ 46.2-1088.6,
§ 46.2-1532.2

In the owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in Virginia, applies to 2008 or later models.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the vehicle; 4) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel; or 5) probable cause of an offense.

Insurer cannot refuse to renew an insurance policy solely based in the owners refusal to share data
 
Insurer cannot adjust rates due solely on the refusal to share data.

Washington

Wash. Code § 46.35.010 et seq.

In writing or in the owner’s manual of new vehicles sold or leased in Washington. Also requires disclosure in agreements with subscription services.

1) with owner’s consent; 2) court order; 3) vehicle safety research; 4) for dispatch of emergency medical personnel.

Requires vehicle manufacturers to ensure that a tool is commercially available and capable of accessing and retrieving data in an EDR.