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Do Backup Cameras Set Up on a Car Invade People’s Privacy?
Nowadays, there are a lot of devices that make people’s life easier in any sphere. Currently, people have the possibility to control each their and others’ steps in order to secure their safety. There are lots of cameras installed in various public places. They help the managers and security sectors of those places to prevent different, unpredictable accidents, which may lead to serious damages or someone’s death. Modern driving vehicles are often equipped with backup cameras, which allow controlling the driving process both outside and inside the car. Many experts argue that these devices interfere with people’s privacy because they control every minute of their activity near or in the car. However, they forget that safety is more important than one’s privacy. That is why I think that backup cameras set up on a car do not invade people’s privacy.
Nobody would argue that backup cameras are becoming more and more widespread among car drivers. A lot of modern cars are equipped with preinstalled cameras. The drivers of older vehicles can purchase such devices separately for an affordable price. The main reason for such installation is safety. It significantly increases the visibility for the drivers, which sometimes reaches 180 degrees (TopTenReviews). It allows making the so-called blind zones, which are a frequent reason for deaths of people and animals, open for driver’s eyes. In such a way, backup cameras allow avoiding unpredictable car accidents in various places and conditions during the reverse driving.
Most of the backup cameras allow the drivers not only to control and observe the driving process but to record and collect all these data. The main problem is that when it is electronically recorded, then someone else besides the driver can have direct or indirect access to these data. For many people, it is a violation of their privacy. Especially they focus their attention on this when the records are made despite their will. A law professor at Santa Clara University in California, Dorothy Glancy, speaking about the data collection, argues that “People should be able to decide whether they want it collected or not” (Woodyard and O’Donnell). However, it is hard to agree with such a statement because, in many cases, the records help to save much time when investigating different accidents participating in car drivers. It is a kind of black box, which is installed on the planes. In such a way, the records made by the backup cameras help to investigate cases where were no witnesses or other records made by outside cameras.
Most of the lawyers are too concentrated on people’s privacy and try to find any violations of it for the citizens. The thoughts of Dorothy Glancy were supported by Khaliah Barnes, who is an administrative law counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Woodyard and O’Donnell). In her speech, she underlined that “you do have a right to privacy in your car” (Woodyard and O’Donnell). There, she was primarily speaking about the automotive black boxes and informative-entertainment systems that record data. Although, these authors forget about the safety of the drivers, which can be supported by these cameras. Understanding the value of such devices, the government made the installation of such systems mandatory for all the drivers (Nelson). Such cameras and applications will control the speed limit or whether the driver or passengers are wearing the seat belt.
Moreover, the program can remind the driver about the violations of some rules that will prevent accidents, which can threaten someone’s life. People’s privacy is not invaded in most of the cases. Only when the data end up in the hands of third parties for whom they are not intended, then it is possible to say about the violation of privacy. But in most cases, they help to find solutions to a controversial issue connected with car accidents.
Backup cameras and in-car entertainment systems can provide necessary information to the carmakers. Often, the information needed for the automakers includes the private information of consumers, which must not be used by the carmakers. Even General Motors company has supposed that such things can invade consumers’ privacy (Woodyard and O’Donnell). However, this issue can be looked at from another angle. In cases where carmakers are to blame for the accident, it would be difficult for them to dispute their own data. Such records provide true and critical information about crashes or other accidents. That is why it is widely used by attorneys during the lawsuits involving car owners (Woodyard and O’Donnell). Although some systems and cameras can record various information about the habits of the drivers, their physical and psychological habits, and abilities, in these cases, the carmakers will need to obtain the drivers’ permission to record such personal data. However, such cases are rare.
Most of the drivers do not perceive the backup cameras and other recording devices as the invasion of their privacy. Some drivers voluntary decide to bring various devices in their vehicles. In such cases, they realize that they will be rewarded for their safety. Such drivers understand that cameras can spy on their habits, but at the same time, they ensure their security during the driving process and in the future if something happens. In many cases, backup cameras ensure the safety of pedestrians and children. The backup cameras, which became mandatory for cars, are expected to save up to 70 lives a year (Howard). The main achievement is that such cameras prevent the deaths of children hit by cars that are backing up (Trop). Backup accidents cause harm or injury to 15,000 people annually (Hovard). That is why observing the moving process through cameras will help to prevent different injuries and accidents.
Backup cameras provide safety measurements to the car owners and pedestrians. In many cases, it may help to save one’s life. The cameras are the perfect way to record that the driver did not run a red light, or did come to a full stop, or any number of other violations that can be created artificially. It is also great evidence in a multi-car pile-up (Dvorak). The backup cameras can be perfect eyewitness during the lawsuit that the driver did nothing wrong or vice versa. In such cases, especially in crowded places, it is difficult to speak about personal privacy. The drivers and other people should control both their movements and movements of other participants of the road traffic.
In such a way, the backup cameras set up on the cars are intended to provide safety for the participants of the road traffic. Nobody will argue that safety is more important than people’s privacy, especially when to speak about children’s safety. The backup cameras assist the drivers and other people’s in the safety movement and proving their rightwards in some cases. Moreover, the private things which may be recorded are not so “private” as some people say. It is necessary to recognize that the information may be helpful for the carmakers to produce more suitable and comfortable vehicles, which will correspond to the demands of everybody’s safety and comfort.
Dvorak, John C. “The Mandatory Dash Cam Is Coming.” PCMAG, 25 Feb. 2015, www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2477347,00.asp.
Howard, Bill . “Car backup cameras are now mandatory: Okay for saving lives, even better for music and navigation.” ExtremeTech, 4 Apr. 2014, www.extremetech.com/extreme/179635-car-backup-cameras-are-now-mandatory-okay-for-saving-lives-even-better-for-music-and-navigation.
Nelson, Gabe. “NHTSA moves ahead on backup-Camera regulation.” Automotive News, 2 Feb. 2014, www.autonews.com/article/20140102/OEM11/140109992/nhtsa-moves-ahead-on-backup-camera-regulation.
Trop, Jaclyn. “After Delays, U.S. Takes a Step Forward on Rearview Cameras in Vehicles.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2013, www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/business/after-delays-us-takes-a-step-forward-on-rearview-cameras-in-vehicles.html?_r=0.
TopTenReviews. “Why Use a Backup Camera Kit For Your Trailer.” TopTenReviews, www.toptenreviews.com/home/articles/why-use-a-backup-camera-kit-for-your-trailer/.
Woodyard, Chris, and Jayne O’Donnell. “Your car may be invading your privacy.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 25 Mar. 2013, www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/03/24/car-spying-edr-data-privacy/1991751/.