Proving Texting as a Cause of a Crash, Dealing with Privacy Rights No Easy Task

August 4, 2013 – In The News
South Jersey Times

Scott Vernick was quoted in the South Jersey Times article "Proving Texting as a Cause of a Crash, Dealing with Privacy Rights No Easy Task." While the full text can be found in the August 4, 2013, issue of South Jersey Times, a synopsis is noted below.

A New Jersey legislator is attempting to simplify the process of determining technology’s role in car crashes. If the proposed legislation passes, police would not need a warrant to go through a driver’s cellphone following a crash to determine if technology played a role.

On the proposed legislation, noted privacy authority Scott Vernick said, “We’re entitled to have a zone of privacy and just because technology threatens to pierce that zone of privacy, and has already pierced it, doesn’t mean we should give up our constitutional protections. Just because it makes it easier doesn’t mean the government has a right to it. We’re trying to keep the power of the state at bay.”

“Why should we give up our rights and what are we giving it up for,” questioned Vernick. “If police think [cellphone use] is an issue, let them do what they’re supposed to do to let them show probable cause in other ways.”

“Technology will continue to eat away at our privacy and make more of our lives available and add to tension between that and our constitutional safeguards that should be in place,” Vernick said. “That tension will only grow. That tension will not go away.”