Will the federal government add black boxes to all cars?

The federal government wants to add data boxes — better known as “black boxes” — to all light passenger vehicles starting Sept. 1, 2014.

But, privacy experts are concerned about the proposal from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), saying the data could be used for nefarious purposes of even to levy additional taxes.

Interestingly, according to NHTSA, as many as 96 percent of model year 2013 cars and light-duty vehicles have EDR capability. Federal officials say capturing the information can be used to improve highway safety, especially by using it to help understand the dynamics involved in a crash and the performance of safety systems.

“By understanding how drivers respond in a crash and whether key safety systems operate properly, NHTSA and automakers can make our vehicles and our roadways even safer,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “This proposal will give us the critical insight and information we need to save more lives.”

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