Proposed NY Bill Would Allow Police Use Textalyzer Device to Investigate Phone Logs in Time of Accident
Apr 19, 2016 10:09 AM EDT
A new bill in New York would allow police officers to use a special device to determine whether car drivers were using their phones at a time of an accident. The new bill stated that police officers would have the power to obtain cell phone logs and connect drivers' phone to a device, called "Textalyzer."
The textalyzer technology will be to provide data that would help police officers decide whether a driver has been distracted by his or her phone while on the wheels. According to kake.com, the device could get the phone log to determine that without providing access to private data, such as photos, messages, or contacts.
The bill is sponsored by New York State Senator Terrence Murphy. "Empowering our law enforcement with technology, which is able to immediately determine cell phone usage without an inquiry into the content will allow enforcement of these laws after an accident while still protecting essential privacy rights," as stated on the bill.
The procedures and regulations in using the textalyzer to drivers will be similar to that of a breathalyzer. Breathalyzer is a device already used by police officers to determine whether a driver has been consuming alcohol before driving. The portable device uses the sample of the driver's breath to measure the amount of alcohol in his or her breath. A police officer is authorized to ask for access to a driver's phone in the case of a crash or accident. The bill also stated that a refusal to hand over the phone when demanded by a police officer could bring consequences similar to refusing a roadside breathalyzer.
The textalyzer device was first introduced by Cellebrite, an Israeli technology company specializing in data extraction, as reported by National Post. The company claims that the device will not interfere with drivers' personal data as it only determines if the phone was in use at the time of the accident.
ABC7NY noted that the bill, called "Evan's law," is named after Evan Lieberman, the 19-year-old who died in an accident with another teen in 2011. His father, Ben Lieberman, has been working to support and advocate the bill to get phone records assessed after a crash to help determine the cause.