Did you know that your car has a recording device that records the speed, direction, and location of your vehicle while you are driving it, as well as your steering, braking, seat belt use and erratic driver behavior?

On March 26, 2015, the New Jersey General Assembly unanimously approved the first (to our knowledge) state statute that limits access to data recorded by motor vehicles. The Act provides that no person, except the owner of a motor vehicle, may “retrieve, obtain or use data recorded, stored or transmitted” from automobile recording devices unless:

  1. it is with the owner’s consent;
  2. it is subject to a search warrant or other administrative order;
  3. it is for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety;
  4. it is to a dealer or for the vehicle’s repair;
  5. it is by emergency response personnel; or
  6. it is pursuant to a discovery request or order in a civil action.

The Act prohibits further disclosure of the data unless it is de-identified or it is with the owner’s written consent. The Act has strict provisions relating to the prohibition of altering or preventing access to the data and violation of the Act is punishable with a $5,000 fine for each offense.