‘Big Brother’ fears emerged yesterday about EU plans to fit speed-limiting technology in new cars.
A European Commission blueprint to stop drivers going over the limit also involves an aircraft-style ‘black box’ to record speed plus driving and location data.
Campaigners fear these tracking devices will allow police, insurers and even hackers to spy on people and monitor all their movements.
‘Intelligent speed assistance’ is at the centre of a European road-safety shake-up.
These systems are capable of automatically stopping cars from exceeding the limit or cutting the speed if they pass into a slower zones. But the Department of Transport insists that mandatory systems will not physically slow a car.
It says drivers will simply be alerted by a dashboard light and an audio alert, similar to existing warnings when seatbelts are left unfastened.
The technology will have to be installed in all new cars from May 2022 and in existing models two years later. Other features include automatic emergency braking and a system which keeps a vehicle in the centre of a traffic lane.
The EU Commission claims the mandatory devices could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.
Britain has already promised to impose the same rules, but it is understood the additional black box plans have led ministers to repeatedly raise privacy concerns with European officials. The devices track how people drive and can store data leading up to a crash. The EU says it ‘will provide crucial information for accident analysis and reducing accidents in future’.
It could also help to prosecute a speeding driver after a crash. But privacy campaigners fear such data could be exploited by insurance firms to turn down a claim if someone was shown to be driving at only slightly over the speed limit.'
Read more: The spy in your car! EU's speed-limiter system has a 'black box' recorder to track your every move
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