The “Textalyzer” – Safety vs. Privacy

The debate continues over new strides in fighting distracted driving.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of breathalyzers and how they essentially work – which can confirm a driver’s blood alcohol level through a small, portable device. But with distracted driving accident statistics quickly catching up to drunk driving, some are looking at the need to do something similar to confirm drivers’ activities leading up to an accident, specifically regarding their interactions with their mobile device. And that’s exactly what the mobile forensics company, Cellebrite, has set out to do through their latest development the “Textalyzer.”

Just as it sounds, this device, about the size of an iPad, would be plugged into a driver’s mobile device and allow law enforcement officers to see the recent interactions with that device. (Note: The Textalyzer does not capture any personal data, such as who was being interacted with or the content of any messages. Instead, a time-stamped log of touches and swipes being made on the phone and in the apps is created.) This is, of course, an important distinction to be made as some argue this is an invasion of privacy and should require a warrant by law enforcement to have access to such data.

We can all agree that less driving incidents on the road would make us all safer, but we’re curious how you feel about the privacy issue being raised. We’d love to get your feedback on this and as such are putting it to a vote from our readership.

Weigh in on the debate

If you think the Textalyzer is an invasion of privacy and should not be legal without a warrant, please text NOTEXT to 44222.

If you think the Textalyzer should be used by law enforcement to capture key data about drivers involved in accidents, please text YESTEXT to 44222.

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