textalyzer for field analysis of texting while driving

‘Textalyzer’ may give police evidence of distracted driving

Every day in the United States, an average of nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because texting and driving is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving, legislators in New York want to amend the law so that electronic devices can be field tested after an accident for evidence of their unlawful use while driving. A “textalyzer” would help authorities determine whether someone involved in an accident was unlawfully texting while driving.

Such texalyzer technology is being developed by Cellebrite, the company that reportedly helped the FBI crack the iPhone that belonged to one of the perpetrators in the San Bernardino attack. Cellebrite has already developed solutions to gather mobile forensic data in the field.

Under the terms of the New York bill, the textalyzer device would only be able to tell authorities the last time the phone was used and if it was used in a hands-free mode. Cellebrite would be required to keep personal information such as conversations, contacts, numbers, photos, and application data private.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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