Tex­t­alyzer will spy on your driv­ing habits

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

NEW YORK state in the US is set to study the use of a de­vice known as the ‘tex­t­alyzer’ that would al­low po­lice to de­ter­mine whether a mo­torist in­volved in a se­ri­ous crash was tex­ting while driv­ing.

Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo said that he would ex­am­ine the tech­nol­ogy, as well as the pri­vacy and con­sti­tu­tional ques­tions it could raise.

“De­spite laws to ban cell­phone use while driv­ing, some mo­torists still con­tinue to in­sist on tex­ting be­hind the wheel - plac­ing them­selves and oth­ers at sub­stan­tial risk,” Cuomo said.

The de­vice is called the ‘tex­t­alyzer’ be­cause of its sim­i­lar­ity to the breath­a­lyzer, which is used to iden­tify drunk driv­ers. It would al­low po­lice to see if a mo­torist had been tex­ting, email­ing or oth­er­wise us­ing his or her cell­phone be­fore a se­ri­ous crash.

The ‘tex­t­alyzer’ is still some months away from be­ing ready, ac­cord­ing to Cellebrite, the Is­rael-based tech com­pany de­vel­op­ing the de­vice.

Pri­vacy and civil lib­er­ties groups al­ready have ques­tioned whether the tech­nol­ogy’s use would vi­o­late per­sonal pri­vacy, not­ing that po­lice of­ten must ob­tain search war­rants be­fore look­ing at a per­son’s phone.

- AP

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