Part of the text outlined in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, includes a provision to dispatch surveillance technology on new vehicles starting in 2026.
According to a piece written in the Daily Caller by former Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., the bill signed into law and “marketed to Congress as a benign tool to help prevent drunk driving,” includes a measure that “will mandate automobile manufacturers build into every car what amounts to a ‘vehicle kill switch.'”
The text Barr refers to under section 24220 of the bill will mandate “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology” be implemented “in all new passenger motor vehicles” by 2026, which would “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.”
But as Barr points out, “use of the word ‘passively’ suggests the system will always be on and constantly monitoring the vehicle. Secondly, the system must connect to the vehicle’s operational controls, so as to disable the vehicle either before driving or during, when impairment is detected. Thirdly, it will be an ‘open’ system, or at least one with a backdoor, meaning authorized (or unauthorized) third-parties can remotely access the system’s data at any time.”
But what concerns Barr, not the least of which is safety, is “there also is no detail in the legislation about who would have access to the data collected and stored by the system.”
“Such a trove of data,” he adds, “presents a lucrative prize to all manner of public and private entities (including hackers), none of which have our best interests at heart.”
This “backdoor government ‘kill switch’ to cars,” the former congressman concludes, “is not only a violation of our constitutional rights, but an affront to what is — or used to be — an essential element of our national character.”