The EU has reportedly spent £2.4 million on a three-year study into the feasibility of installing black box recorders or 'Event Data Recorders' (EDR) in all new European cars.
'Project Veronica', as the study is known, has recommended the mandatory installation of the boxes and said they will record 20 types of data, including speed, the car’s most recent movements and the actions of the driver - when and how often the brakes, indicators and horn were applied.
According to the Daily Telegraph,
Supporters say they could be used to reconstruct what happened in the event of a collision which would make it easier for insurance companies to decide who was at fault and, where necessary, enable police to take action against the driver.
Equally, the director of the study, Ralf Schmidt-Cotta, has described the boxes as "an independent, neutral witness".
However, in truth they are yet another new tool of surveillance which would give anyone with the means to decode the data the ability to track your daily movements.
It starts with the police and insurance companies and ends up being used by suspicious employers and vengeful partners.
Then there's the cost of placing one of these recorders in every new car and the implications for challenging their data in court.
Early signs are that the DfT and car-makers are wary about the idea, but it will require consistent opposition to make sure these tracking devices don't see the light of day.
By Dylan Sharpe