Digital Automobile Forensics for Criminal Investigations

Digital Automobile Forensics for Criminal Investigations

Digital Automobile Forensics for Criminal Investigations

Did you know your automobile records and subsequently stores a considerable amount of information about your behavior in the context of driving and other activities such as phone conversations within the vehicle?
Today’s vehicles record and store information pertaining to the opening of vehicle doors to the speed at which vehicles drive at specific times, driver voice commands, and plenty more. Though this technology is not available in older vehicles, new vehicles have such “black boxes” built into them for behavior tracking. The logic in recording such information is to piece together the puzzle of auto accidents. However, some question whether the state of California should be able to access this “black box” vehicle information for the purposes of solving crimes.

How Police are Using Vehicle Black Boxes

California police are using the black boxes described above to solve crimes. In some cases, police have used this information recorded and stored by vehicles to solve murders and other high-level crimes. In certain cases, police use such black boxes for voice identification purposes that help pave the way to arresting criminals for murder and other serious crimes.

Digital Automobile forensics will likely become that much more important in the years ahead. Automobile forensics technology has emerged as an important investigation tool that makes it quite easy for police to analyze the data stored within the black boxes of automobiles. However, those interested in safeguarding our ever-eroding civil rights are worried California police are violating search and seizure laws when accessing vehicle black boxes for investigative purposes.

Be Mindful of What You Say Inside Your Vehicle

Automobile black boxes are becoming that much more sophisticated as time progresses. Black boxes might seem harmless in that they store somewhat trivial data yet this information has the potential to be a treasure trove for California police. Most people are surprised to learn late model vehicles are recording details such as the weight of the individuals seated inside at any given point in time. Furthermore, vehicles made in recent years are even recording the destinations drivers travel to, information pertaining to navigation, drivers’ Bluetooth phone call conversations and text messages. In fact, some new automobiles are even designed with embedded sensors and cameras to boot.

The dramatic increase in the use of driver surveillance technology might make it easier for police to solve crimes yet it has privacy advocates quite angry. The sad truth is it is not possible to encrypt the information collected by an automobile. Nor can this information be locked with the use of a passcode. Rather, the police merely need the warrant to search the black box of an automobile. This means police have the opportunity to obtain information that extends well beyond that which is necessary to solve crimes. Add in the fact that automobile manufacturers might use the data they collect for nefarious purposes and there is even more reason to be concerned.

The Fourth Amendment in the Context of Automobile Surveillance

At this point, it should be clear your vehicle is spying on you. If the data collected by your car is used against you, do not assume you will be found guilty. There is a chance a judge or jury will view the use of such vehicle technology as a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. Reach out to a California criminal defense attorney for a comprehensive review of your case.

The proper legal defense will challenge the evidence based on a violation of your Constitutional rights, setting the stage for the case to be dismissed or your potential penalty to be significantly reduced.