The U.S. Senate has just passed the Senate Bill 1813, a bill requiring all new cars manufactured in the United States starting the year 2015 to be fitted with vehicle data recorders a.k.a. “block boxes”. The bill is currently waiting for the approval from the U.S. House of Representatives.

Section 31406 of the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act" (MAP-21) bill calls for "Mandatory Event Data Recorders" to be installed in new vehicles, starting in the year 2015.

The bill states that within 180 days of the enactment of the bill, the Secretary must revise part 563 of title 49 (Code of Federal Regulations) "to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part."

The bill quickly raised issues on car owner's privacy eventhough it indicates there that the data that's recorded on the device will be the property of the owner of the vehicle and would require a warrant if ever someone would like to do an investigation on it.

"Any data in an event data recorder required under part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, regardless of when the passenger motor vehicle in which it is installed was manufactured, is the property of the owner, or in the case of a leased vehicle, the lessee of the passenger motor vehicle in which the data recorder is installed," the bill states.