New York law could allow roadside 'textalyzer' checks for distracted driving

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Drivers in New York might soon be subject to on-the-spot analysis of their mobile phones to determine whether they were distracted by their devices in the run-up to accidents, if a proposed law passes the state legislature.




The bill would give police officers the authority to use so-called "textalyzers" to determine whether a phone was being used in the moments before an accident occurred. As noted by Ars Technica, those who refuse to consent to the search would face immediate suspension of their driving license.

One company developing such a textalyzer, Cellebrite -- the same firm that helped the FBI crack the San Bernardino iPhone -- says that their device would not gather personal data like contacts or photos in order to comply with the fourth amendment. Indeed, such a protection is included in the text of the bill:

No such electronic scan shall include the content or origin of any communication, game conducted, image or electronic data viewed on a mobile telephone or a portable electronic device.


Given that, it isn't clear exactly how the devices would determine if a phone was in use. One method may be to analyze the contents of the SIM card, though that would not shed light on how the device was used; that is, whether the driver was looking at it or using it through a hands-free system.

To make those determinations, investigators would need an additional warrant for a device search.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    100% not Constitutional. I’d love to say that means it won’t happen, but of course it will.
    icoco3johnnashbonobob
  • Reply 2 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    No problem. If you refuse a breathalyzer test you get an immediate 90 suspension of your drivers license in many states. The police can also obtain a warrant, based on their trained observations, to force you to submit to a blood test. Driving is a privilege not a right. You have the Constitutional right to refuse a breathalyzer test and to refuse a textalyzer analysis. You do not have the right to drive an automobile. That’s a privilege extended to you by the state and you cannot claim your rights are being violated when that privilege is suspended. It’s your right to submit or not. This is perfectly Constitutional in my opinion. 

    Like drinking and driving, texting and driving has become a scourge on the public health. These laws come into being because stupid people do stupid and dangerous things.
    edited April 2016 mike1dasanman69diplicationtechprod1gypotatoleeksoupjony0gatorguywonkothesanepalominebaconstang
  • Reply 3 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that this was unconstitutional. Police need a specific warrant to search a phone.

    No exceptions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/us/supreme-court-cellphones-search-privacy.html
    ronntallest skilSpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    100% not Constitutional. I’d love to say that means it won’t happen, but of course it will.
    Are you saying you have a Constitutional right to drive an automobile? Courts have long ruled that you do not have such a right. You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed textalyzer test. You have that right. You just can’t drive a car for the next ninety days if you do.
    potatoleeksoupjony0baconstangiosenthusiast
  • Reply 5 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    lkrupp said:
    100% not Constitutional. I’d love to say that means it won’t happen, but of course it will.
    Are you saying you have a Constitutional right to drive an automobile? Courts have long ruled that you do not have such a right. You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed textalyzer test. You have that right. You just can’t drive a car for the next ninety days if you do.
    You have a 4th Amendment right to not be searched in an unreasonable manner (this law violates that) and you have a 5th Amendment right to due process and protection from self-incrimination (this law violates that).

    The fact driving is not a constitutional right doesn't trump your actual constitutional rights. And courts cannot punish you if you refuse to waive your constitutional rights.
    edited April 2016 redraider11rhinotuffronnicoco3nolamacguylostkiwicnocbuilord amhranSpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 69
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    Too many variables to consider. For example some cars offer a feature where you can voice to text, such as "I'm driving, I'll call you later". But New York will probably try to force Apple to write some software that outputs a timestamp log of messages without showing the actual messages for the sake of privacy. Still, how stupid is it to text while driving anyway? And not that it is much less distracting, but you can use Siri to send a message completely hands free.
    edited April 2016 potatoleeksoup
  • Reply 7 of 69
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,924member
    Rosyna said:
    lkrupp said:
    Are you saying you have a Constitutional right to drive an automobile? Courts have long ruled that you do not have such a right. You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed textalyzer test. You have that right. You just can’t drive a car for the next ninety days if you do.
    You have a 4th Amendment right to not be searched in an unreasonable manner (this law violates that) and you have a 5th Amendment right to due process and protection from self-incrimination (this law violates that).

    The fact driving is not a constitutional right doesn't trump your actual constitutional rights. And courts cannot punish you if you refuse to waive your constitutional rights.

    Absolutely incorrect. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer, that is your right. But in doing so, you give up your privilege to drive. You agreed to that when you received your driver's license.
    diplicationjony0baconstangiosenthusiast
  • Reply 8 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    mike1 said:
    Rosyna said:
    You have a 4th Amendment right to not be searched in an unreasonable manner (this law violates that) and you have a 5th Amendment right to due process and protection from self-incrimination (this law violates that).

    The fact driving is not a constitutional right doesn't trump your actual constitutional rights. And courts cannot punish you if you refuse to waive your constitutional rights.

    Absolutely incorrect. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer, that is your right. But in doing so, you give up your privilege to drive. You agreed to that when you received your driver's license.
    A breathalyzer is considered non-testimonial evidence. As it is "something you are", you cannot refuse it. The same goes for things like blood tests.

    However, being forced to unlock your phone is considered testimonial evidence and is therefore protected by the 5th amendment.
    ronnredraider11icoco3nolamacguylostkiwicnocbuiSpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    Rosyna said:
    The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that this was unconstitutional. Police need a specific warrant to search a phone.

    No exceptions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/us/supreme-court-cellphones-search-privacy.html
    Can’t you read? This law says you may exercise your rights any time. You are not being forced to submit to anything but your driving privileges will be revoked if you don’t. It’s voluntary and as someone has already stated you agreed to give up your privilege to drive under certain circumstances when you got your drivers license. It all boils down to whether you value your rights more than your privileges. Your choice.
    edited April 2016 mike1jony0baconstangiosenthusiast
  • Reply 10 of 69
    kevdrexkevdrex Posts: 13member
    As a motorcyclist, I have had a close call with somebody I know for a fact was using their phone at the time we almost collided. So, it's hard to disagree. And driving is a privilege, not a constitutional right. A car is a lethal weapon if not respected. 
    jony0baconstangiosenthusiast
  • Reply 11 of 69
    hungeduhungedu Posts: 15member
    What if your phone is locked, encrypted, and you refuse to comply? Will NYPD need the help of Cellebrite to access that data? What if your phone is in CarPlay mode? Can you not use hands-free Siri to dictate text messages while driving?
  • Reply 12 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    lkrupp said:
    Rosyna said:
    The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that this was unconstitutional. Police need a specific warrant to search a phone.

    No exceptions.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/26/us/supreme-court-cellphones-search-privacy.html
    Can’t you read? This law says you may exercise your rights any time. You are not being forced to submit to anything but your driving privileges will be revoked if you don’t. It’s voluntary and as someone has already stated you agreed to give up your privilege to drive under certain circumstances when you got your drivers license. It all boils down to whether you value your rights more than your privileges. Your choice.
    As I said, there are no exceptions, including exigent circumstances, to when an LEO needs a specific warrant to search a phone. Had you read the article, you would have understood that.

    Furthermore, A court cannot legally punish you in any manner, including through harassment, if you refuse to self-incriminate yourself. This has been repeatedly backed up in court.

    I don't know why you keep bringing up this "driving is not a right" nonsense as it is unrelated to anything here. You are protected from unreasonable searches regardless of any privilege you're exercising. This has been tested in court. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Jones
    edited April 2016 redraider11lostkiwicnocbuilinkman
  • Reply 13 of 69
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    100% not Constitutional. I’d love to say that means it won’t happen, but of course it will.
    So it comes down to, refusal to surrender your 4th amendment rights without a warrant and asserting your 5th amendment rights could be criminal according to my wonderful state.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    icoco3 said:
    100% not Constitutional. I’d love to say that means it won’t happen, but of course it will.
    So it comes down to, refusal to surrender your 4th amendment rights without a warrant and asserting your 5th amendment rights could be criminal according to my wonderful state.
    Not just yet. The bill is still in the early stages and is likely to be tabled as unconstitutional. If it ever makes it to a vote (unlikely), it wouldn't be until 2017.
  • Reply 15 of 69
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    They can do this already. After a major accident, they will subpoena billing records from the carrier. And they will go back 24-48 hours too in order to show whether you got enough sleep the night before, for example.
    edited April 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 69
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    lkrupp said:
    Are you saying you have a Constitutional right to drive an automobile?
    And people wonder why I get upset when I see strawmen.
    You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed textalyzer test. You have that right. You just can’t drive a car for the next ninety days if you do.
    You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed ’search your home for any reason’ test. You have that right. You’ll just be arrested and they’ll do it anyway if you do.
    You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed ‘give your blood to the government for DNA registration’ test. You have that right. You’ll just be arrested and they’ll do it anyway if you do.
    You are perfectly free to refuse the proposed ‘anyone who believes in [thing] is rounded up and killed’ test. You have that right. You’ll just be rounded up and killed if you do.

    Where’s your line?
    edited April 2016 icoco3bonobob
  • Reply 17 of 69
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 83member
    konqerror said:
    They can do this already. After a major accident, they will subpoena billing records from the carrier. And they will go back 24-48 hours too in order to show whether you got enough sleep the night before, for example.

    Of course, there's no way to prove you didn't use a hands free system or even that you were the one using the phone.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,311member
    Rosyna said:
    lkrupp said:
    Can’t you read? This law says you may exercise your rights any time. You are not being forced to submit to anything but your driving privileges will be revoked if you don’t. It’s voluntary and as someone has already stated you agreed to give up your privilege to drive under certain circumstances when you got your drivers license. It all boils down to whether you value your rights more than your privileges. Your choice.
    As I said, there are no exceptions, including exigent circumstances, to when an LEO needs a specific warrant to search a phone. Had you read the article, you would have understood that.

    Furthermore, A court cannot legally punish you in any manner, including through harassment, if you refuse to self-incriminate yourself. This has been repeatedly backed up in court.

    I don't know why you keep bringing up this "driving is not a right" nonsense as it is unrelated to anything here. You are protected from unreasonable searches regardless of any privilege you're exercising. This has been tested in court. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Jones
    And I don’t know how get through to your thick head. You keep wagging on about being forced to turn over your phone. You are NOT BEING FORCED to do anything. The police ask your to let them inspect your phone under this law. You say no and that’s it. What’s unconstitutional about this law? The asking? The police can’t ask you to do this voluntarily? Is that what you are saying? In refusing you lose your driving privileges for 90 days. So again what part of this law is unconstitutional?
    mike1Soli
  • Reply 19 of 69
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Rosyna said:
    konqerror said:
    They can do this already. After a major accident, they will subpoena billing records from the carrier. And they will go back 24-48 hours too in order to show whether you got enough sleep the night before, for example.

    Of course, there's no way to prove you didn't use a hands free system or even that you were the one using the phone.
    Not if it's a text message and, like the majority of trips, you're the only person in the car. Also, by Federal law, commercial operators, like trucks and buses, are prohibited from hands free use anyway.
    baconstang
  • Reply 20 of 69
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,459member
    Rosyna said:
    icoco3 said:
    So it comes down to, refusal to surrender your 4th amendment rights without a warrant and asserting your 5th amendment rights could be criminal according to my wonderful state.
    Not just yet. The bill is still in the early stages and is likely to be tabled as unconstitutional. If it ever makes it to a vote (unlikely), it wouldn't be until 2017.
      Emperor Cuomo may pronounce an edict... B)
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