The Washington Post

Does Your Car's Black Box Need A Firewall? Startup Firm Thinks So

It's no secret that our cars are becoming increasingly technological. For many, it's a source of unease. For some, it's a cause of outright paranoia--or so it seems, with the launch of an Indiegogo project for the funding of a physical lockout device for your car's data access port.

Designed to work with all vehicles that have a Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) port, an industry standard interface for tapping into the car's on-board diagnostics (OBD) information and other in-car networks, the Airmika AUTOcyb seeks to secure access to your vehicle's data.

It's a relatively simple device, attaching to the DLC port and locking in place with a key. The idea is to limit access to a vehicle's on-board data through the port, especially the Event Data Recorder (EDR), commonly called an "automotive black box."

The EDR or "black box" is typically integrated into the restraint control module, which regulates seatbelt tensioning and airbag deployment in the event of a crash. It also logs the information used to determine when a crash event has occurred, while some EDRs also log events that don't result in airbag deployment and/or a crash.

Airmika says the information in the black box should be protected, and access controlled by the vehicle owner rather than law enforcement or insurance companies.

So we put the question to you: Great idea for protecting personal data, potentially harmful obstruction to necessary crash data, or just a new take on the tinfoil hat?

(c) 2013, High Gear Media.



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