#Surveillance State: Your Car is Spying on You! Ignition Locks Linked to Onboard Cameras Identify Drivers.

posted Jan 13, 2013, 5:00 AM by Peter Joseph Moons   [ updated Jan 13, 2013, 4:29 PM ]
Say cheese for your ignition interlock camera - The Olympian

FC 100 from Lifesafer.com
FC 100 from Lifesafer.com.

Comments by Peter Joseph Moons.

Washington state is now requiring court-ordered ignition locks to include a camera so that the driver of the auto matches the person required to use the ignition control device.  While ignition locks for drivers who are required by courts to have them in their vehicles due to legal processes is not new, the use of cameras to verify the driver is the one under legal scrutiny is another step in the direction of control.  Some drivers decide to beat the purpose of the ignition lock breathalyzer by various means as a countermeasure to the government's control of their activities.  With the implementation of a camera linked to the breathalyzer/ignition switch, photographing the driver to ensure they are the one who is designated to take the test, that countermeasure is supposed to end.  Whether a counter-counter-measure is coming is as yet to be determined.

There is value to the greater society when government addresses the actions of persons who have been convicted of DUI/DWI.  Such drivers have limitations on their activities as further driving while impaired has potentially very serious negative consequences on others.  The inclusion of cameras linked to ignition locks adds another level of safeguard, thus contributing to the greater good.  Persons convicted of DUI/DWI have, unfortunately for them, surrendered some of their freedoms, including deciding if they are safe to drive.  An ignition lock on the vehicles of such drivers is the government's response to ensure the safety of the public; the cameras ensure the lock is linked to the right driver.  There are additional financial costs for upgrading to camera use, which is likely borne by the drivers themselves.

One additional measure could be installed in vehicles, which the companies listed below are already likely looking into, is the use of other biometrics for driver identification.  A palm print or iris scanning device could also be installed in autos.  While the thought of having one's picture taken when turning an ignition key sits heavily in the mind of the driver, also having their eye scanned by a device in their car would mean three control measures are monitoring them.  Together, the driver would be more inclined, theoretically, to not drive while impaired knowing that they are being more deeply identified.  However, those drivers who want to drive while impaired will likely still find a way to do so.

The concern for the greater public should be that these locks and cameras procedures will creep into other driving requirements.  Perhaps when driverless autos become mainstream, biometrics will be installed to verify the right occupant is in the vehicle.

Current Control Grade: 1 (Grade is low because society at large is not directly affected by this technology, only those required by some action of their own accord are). Freedom Grade: 9. (Future grades could transpose.)

As FYI, there are several companies in the US offering ignition locks integrated with cameras; some even include infrared capability for photographing drivers at night.

These companies include: