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New York eyes & lsquo; textalyzer & rsquo; to combat distracted driving

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Anna Gronewold, Associated Press
Posted at 15:56 ET May 14, 2017

ALBANY, NY – Ben Lieberman just wanted to know what could have caused the head-on collision that killed his 19-year-old son, Evan, on a road north of New York. It took a trial and six months of trial to get the recordings of the laptop showing the driver of the car in which his son was writing driving

Lieberman does not think this information is so hard.

He channeled his grief over the 2011 accident into a proposal that would allow police on accident scenes in New York to immediately examine cell phones of drivers with a device to determine whether they had tapped, slipped or clicked. "You think people are already looking at phones and that just does not happen," said Lieberman, who is working in partnership with the Israeli technology company Cellebrite to develop the plug. – The device has already been nicknamed the "text analyzer".

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The idea is already facing obstacles from advocates of privacy and privacy. They are also concerned that such a technology would be used to access all the personal information that people might have on their cell phones.

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"Every fender bender would become a pretext for gobbling up the private information of cell phones, and we know that" Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who n? is not related to Ben Lieberman, said: "At least 46 states have laws prohibiting texting while driving and 14 prohibit all mobiles. However, some security advocates say that more needs to be done to enforce the laws.

Deborah Hersman, CEO of the National Safety Council and advocate of legislation on "textualizers", noted that in 2016, 40,000 people died on the road, a 14% jump from 2014 and the biggest jump of two years in 50 years.

"There can be no more convincing reason than life or death to say why we should have access to this" This one said that its technology, which is nine months old be complete, avoids confidentiality issues because it is designed solely to determine use and not access to data. The company officials said the device would only be able to tell if someone clicked or slid the phone physically at the time of the accident, and investigators could then l & # 39; Use to determine if they should get a warrant for more detailed information.

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Under the bill, which was approved by a Senate committee and is pending in another, a no one would not be criminalized refusing to have their phone checked, but they could get their license suspended. The idea is that a person involves consent to drive without distractions when they receive a license, said Jay Shapiro, a New York attorney and former district deputy attorney.

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Sponsors say that they expect the Republican-led Senate to approve the

Similar legislation is being considered in Tennessee, New Jersey and the City of Chicago .

After Ben Lieberman obtained the recordings from the cell phone, the driver of the car carrying Evan had his license revoked for a year. He has never been charged with a crime.

Lieberman said he hoped that the "textalyzer" would serve as a deterrent and would allow law enforcement to begin to track the magnitude of the problem.

The last thing I want to do is to be responsible for legislation that will infringe on someone's privacy, "he says," but I do not want to bury another child. "

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