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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > NY legislature proposes Cellebrite cellphone scan at car accident sites

NY legislature proposes Cellebrite cellphone scan at car accident sites
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NewsPoster
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Apr 12, 2016, 10:15 AM
 
Republican New York State Senator Terrence Murphy and Democrat Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz, together with awareness organization Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs), are attempting to pass a law to combat distracted driving. The law, if implemented, will require police to examine phones at an accident scene to see if the phone was involved in the crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 67 percent of drivers still use their mobile phones while behind the wheel.

"I have often heard there is no such thing as a breathalyzer for distracted driving -- so we created one," DORCs co-founder Ben Lieberman said of the law and the hardware required for the testing. "Respecting drivers' personal privacy, however, is also important, and we are taking meticulous steps to not violate those rights."

Mobile device forensics vendor Cellebrite, made famous by the San Bernardino iPhone 5c unlock saga, is developing the hardware for officers to detect device usage in the field while maintaining the privacy of data stored on the device. "Cellebrite has been leading the adoption of field mobile forensics solutions by law enforcement for years" said Jim Grady, CEO, Cellebrite, Inc. "We look forward to supporting DORCs and law enforcement -- both in New York and nationally -- to curb distracted driving."

Police on the scene will notify those involved in the accident that "the person's license or permit to drive and any non-resident operating privilege shall be immediately suspended and subsequently revoked should the driver refuse to acquiesce to such field test." However, it is unclear what Cellebrite's technology polls for exactly. Also unclear is if a notification pushed by an application, or proximity to a vendor such a Starbucks, will cause the driver to fail the examination.

Senate Bill S6325A is still in committee. A vote is not expected soon, and won't likely happen until 2017.

A8613A - Driving While Texting Law

( Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 12, 2016 at 09:04 PM. )
     
prl99
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Apr 12, 2016, 12:44 PM
 
This is getting ridiculous. Yes, people continue to use their phones while driving but they also eat, drink, put on makeup, shave, yell at kids in the back seat and do all sorts of other things to distract them. Giving law enforcement all these extra capabilities will simply lead to them being able to violate a person's legal rights at will and without a warrant. The threat mentioned in the article is even worse. A person, by law, is innocent until proven guilty and does not have to incriminate one's self. Comparing driving under the influence is not the same as driving distracted. Distracted driving can be changed by dropping the phone while driving intoxicated cannot be changed without a good night's sleep. As for using an Israeli firms products that obviously violate many US laws, it saddens me that we've gotten to the point where our government agencies are willing to do anything they feel they can get away with.
     
Makosuke
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Apr 12, 2016, 02:22 PM
 
I'm highly skeptical of the technological feasibility of detecting phone use via any automated means (versus direct examination of a phone or questioning of the operator/witnesses), and there are additional 5th amendment issues involved if a crime has, in fact, been committed.

However, at the same time, "It's just distracted driving and people do stupid things with or without a cell phone" doesn't work as an excuse, either, since to my knowledge it either is or absolutely should be illegal to, say, read a book while attempting to drive.

As noted in the article, trying to text while driving is substantially more dangerous than drunk driving--which is already really bad--and the right to drive on state-owned roads is *not* protected. So the state, conceptually, should have every right to say "You do not need to incriminate yourself if you were, in fact, texting while driving and caused an accident, but we can also revoke your license to drive on state-owned roads for failing to volunteer proof one way or the other."

How fair or unreasonable this is will depend entirely on the text and execution of the law, of course, and trying to bring a foreign firm into it to try and provide a technological fix doesn't really point to the lawmakers having thought it through well.
     
TheGreatButcher
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Apr 12, 2016, 02:26 PM
 
"Respecting drivers' personal privacy, however, is also important, and we are taking meticulous steps to not violate those rights"

BS. Continued power grab by our governments.
     
Charles Martin
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Apr 12, 2016, 02:31 PM
 
TGB: exactly.

Makosuke: don't be skeptical. What the article is saying is that if you're in an accident, that's enough for the police to request access (in a world where encryption is forbidden) to your message history, call logs, and other phone activity to determine if you were texting and driving/calling and driving in order to assign blame for the accident.

And now you understand why we have been making such a big deal out of the FBI/DOJ's push for extra-constitutional powers of smartphone search and seizure.
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Charles Martin
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Apr 12, 2016, 02:35 PM
 
PS. Just to be clear, I am in no way at all in support of any kind of distracted driving. What I'm saying here is that we have, for decades, been able to determine who's fault an accident is. We don't need the authorities crawling through the smartphones to figure this out.
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Grendelmon
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Apr 12, 2016, 03:33 PM
 
While I'm skeptical of the technological feasibility of this, it's is no different than submitting a breathalyzer test after an accident. If you want to protect your privacy, then you have a right to refuse. Of course, there are consequences for this, and driving is a privilege- not a right. Distracted driving is an epidemic that needs to be stopped NOW. This could potentially be used as a deterrent.
     
DiabloConQueso
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Apr 12, 2016, 04:20 PM
 
"This could potentially be used as a deterrent."

Is it an effective deterrent?

Is it a reasonable deterrent?

Is it the only deterrent?
     
Charles Martin
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Apr 12, 2016, 04:48 PM
 
I agree that distracted driving is a problem. But I suspect that if someone got in an accident and was relatively unharmed, they'd just quickly erase their chat log before the cops got there, so I don't see that as a deterrent. Sadly common sense about this stuff is in short supply, but as with drunk driving it seems to me that stiff fines/jail time/revoking of driving privileges and of course constant warnings of the penalties will do a much better job without violating the Constitution and people's rights to the privacy of the other contents on their phones. The chief issue with all of this is that if you decrypt a phone, you've decrypted all of it -- not just the tiny bit you want to verify -- and frankly I don't trust authorities to limit themselves when they have that kind of access.
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SunSeeker
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Apr 13, 2016, 03:55 AM
 
Being able to say 'Hey Siri, Tell my wife I'm running ten minutes late' actually makes me less distracted.
Unfortunately though, I imagine that action will surely generate a history with no easy way to tell that it was not a physical interaction...
     
Grendelmon
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Apr 13, 2016, 09:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by DiabloConQueso View Post
"This could potentially be used as a deterrent."

Is it an effective deterrent?

Is it a reasonable deterrent?

Is it the only deterrent?
For a target demographic: potentially. My biggest fear on the road is one specific driver: the teenager who just got their license. New drivers are problematic enough; the addition of texting distractions just compounds the risk and danger for themselves and especially everyone else on the road.

If high schools could run awareness programs, with blunt messages such as "If you text and get caught, you LOSE YOUR LICENSE." And by caught, I mean the police identifying the violation directly on your phone. I think this could be very effective to teach the most dangerous demographic before they even begin to drive.

Is it the only deterrent? Of course not. But it's the best one that I've read about so far.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Apr 13, 2016, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by SunSeeker View Post
Being able to say 'Hey Siri, Tell my wife I'm running ten minutes late' actually makes me less distracted.
Unfortunately though, I imagine that action will surely generate a history with no easy way to tell that it was not a physical interaction...
This is our exact concern.
     
   
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