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'Can I Have Your License, Registration and Phone, Please'

texting behind the wheel of death

As the state of New York debates new distracted driving legislation, an Israeli firm is putting the finishing touches on a “textalyzer” device that could rat away drivers for using their phone before a crash.

Israeli mobile forensics company Cellebrite developed the?data-scanning device, according to Ars Technica, which?could become the newest?- and most controversial?- law enforcement tool since the Taser.

Cellebrite, that sounds like a medication with regard to over-sexed?honors students, specializes in data extraction as well as decoding, and offers its 15,000-plus army and law enforcement customers on its website. The firm really knows its stuff?- it’s generally thought that they helped the FBI hack in to the iPhone at the heart from the San Bernardino/Apple controversy.

If used as a means of gathering evidence for a distracted driving charge, the textalyzer would have to respect Fourth Modification privacy rights, meaning conversations, phone numbers and photos would stay private.

At least, that’s how it’s spelled out in the legislation becoming studied by the New York Senate’s transportation committee. Cellebrite’s device might tell law enforcement whether the driver’s phone was at use prior to a crash, after which a warrant might be needed to figure out what kind of interaction the motive force was having.

Obviously, tone of voice calls via hands-free phoning would put a car owner in the clear, but it’s easy to imagine shades-of-grey scenarios that would challenge the textalyzer. Will it recognize text-to-speech entry over Bluetooth? Let’s say the driver’s telephone was texting prior to a crash, but there’utes a second occupant within the vehicle?

Cellebrite already knows how to crawl deep into your phone, so a textalyzer would just be a watered-down form of technology they already have.

Senate Bill S6325A, named?“Evan’utes Law” after the 2011 distracted driving death associated with 19-year-old Evan Lieberman, would require which any driver involved with a crash would be necessary to hand over their telephone to police for testing. Anyone who will not surrender their telephone will have their license driving privileges immediately revoked, regardless of ultimate guilt or innocence.

If the New York legislation passes, Cellebrite would sign up for other companies in bidding on the textalyzer contract. Such a law would be a watershed moment for road security legislation, so you can wager that other states are watching closely?- and thinking their own laws.

(Our thanks to reader Dan for pointing out this technological development.)

Don't be shellfish...
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