Since the National Transportation Safety Board "recommended" that all new vehicles be equipped with some form of black box -- more appropriately known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR) -- manufacturers have slowly but surely been sneaking them in. Deliberately or otherwise, a vast majority of automakers have neglected to inform customers that their vehicle has such a device installed in it, and as you'd probably expect, it's driving privacy advocates up the wall. As these EDR boxes become more popular, some form of control and notification system apparently needed to be devised, thus the NTSB stepped in and threw down some uniform regulations. Beginning in 2011, all automakers must include "information in the owner's manual" about the specific data that the EDR collects. Fortunately for car companies, the mandate goes a step further by standardizing the data collected by each box, so everyone's privacy is invaded equally. We'll just have to wait and see if those newly disclosed deets include a step by step guide to de-activating the
incriminating evidence data collection, but we don't have a good feeling about all that.