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113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-255
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 563


                           DRIVER PRIVACY ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1925




               September 15, 2014.--Ordered to be printed


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
 BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
 BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
 MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
 MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
 CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
 AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             DEAN HELLER, Nevada
 MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DANIEL COATS, Indiana
 RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
 BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
 ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
 CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
 JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel



                                                       Calendar No. 563
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-255

======================================================================



 
                           DRIVER PRIVACY ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 15, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1925]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1925) to limit the retrieval of 
data from vehicle event data recorders, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the 
nature of a substitute) and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of S. 1925, the Driver Privacy Act, is to 
establish limitations on data retrieval from vehicle event data 
recorders (EDRs). Under current law, there are no Federal 
standards for ownership or privacy of this data. The bill would 
establish that the owner or lessee of the vehicle owns the data 
contained within the EDR, and would create specific 
circumstances under which the data can be accessed by entities 
other than the owner or lessee.

                          Background and Needs

    EDRs capture information about a vehicle just before and at 
the time of a crash. While the EDR records continuously as a 
vehicle travels, the data is only stored if a major event 
occurs, such as a crash or airbag deployment. The data in these 
recorders is used for crash reconstruction and is also used by 
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to 
conduct investigations into potential vehicle defects. While 
NHTSA currently enforces no rule requiring installation of EDRs 
on new light vehicles, the agency estimates that vehicle 
manufacturers voluntarily install these devices on 
approximately 96 percent of these new vehicles.

                         Summary of Provisions

    The Driver Privacy Act would establish the owner or lessee 
of a vehicle as the owner of data collected and stored on the 
vehicle's EDR. The bill would limit access to that data by 
anyone other than the owner or lessee of the vehicle, and it 
would enumerate the specific circumstances under which the data 
could be accessed. In addition, the bill would call on NHTSA to 
conduct a study for submission to Congress on the appropriate 
amount of time that EDRs should capture data before and after a 
crash and, within two years after the study's completion, issue 
regulations establishing the appropriate time period.

                          Legislative History

    Senator Hoeven introduced S. 1925 on January 14, 2014, with 
Senator Klobuchar and 16 other cosponsors. On April 9, 2014, in 
an open Executive Session, the Committee considered the bill 
with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and reported S. 
1925 favorably by voice vote. The amendment clarified the 
description of the data to which the bill refers, made clear 
that the requirements of section 2 would apply to ``motor 
vehicles'' not just ``passenger motor vehicles,'' removed a 
limitation on data retrieval that would have prevented such 
retrieval without data having been recorded, provided for two 
years for NHTSA's rulemaking, and made other minor changes.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 1925--Driver Privacy Act

    Based on information from the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA), CBO estimates that implementing 
S. 1925 would cost about $1 million over the 2015-2019 period, 
assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting S. 
1925 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1925 would establish that any data collected by event 
data recorders (EDRs) in motor vehicles are owned by the owner 
or lessee of the vehicle and would set broad conditions under 
which such data could be retrieved by others for purposes such 
as judicial proceedings, investigations, and traffic safety 
research. The bill also would require NHTSA to complete a study 
and a rulemaking about the data collected by EDRs. Based on 
information from NHTSA, CBO estimates that work would take 
about 18 months to complete and would require two or three 
staff members.
    S. 1925 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    By requiring NHTSA to issue regulations that establish the 
appropriate period for EDRs to capture and record information, 
the bill could impose a mandate on automobile manufacturers if 
those regulations require changes in the design of motor 
vehicles. Because the cost of that mandate would depend on 
future regulations, CBO cannot determine whether the aggregate 
cost of the mandates would exceed the annual threshold 
established in UMRA ($152 million in 2014, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Sarah Puro 
(for federal costs) and Amy Petz (for the private-sector 
impact). The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    The legislation would apply to vehicle owners and lessees 
and to auto manufacturers that build vehicles with EDRs. The 
regulations would revise existing regulations and would not 
impact any additional entities.

                            economic impact

    This legislation is not expected to have an adverse 
economic impact on the Nation.

                                privacy

    S. 1925 would not have a negative impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

    The Committee does not anticipate a major increase in 
paperwork requirements for private individuals or businesses 
due to S. 1925. The bill would call on NHTSA to conduct a study 
and issue regulations regarding the appropriate amount of time 
for an EDR to record a crash.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    Section 1 would establish the title of the bill, the Driver 
Privacy Act.

Section 2. Limitations on data retrieval from vehicle event data 
        recorders.

    Section 2(a) would establish the owner of the vehicle - or, 
in the case of a leased vehicle, the lessor - as the owner of 
the data contained in an EDR.
    Section 2(b) would establish that data in an EDR could not 
be retrieved by anyone other than the owner or lessee unless 
one of five conditions is met: a court authorizes retrieval; 
the owner or lessee provides written or electronic consent; the 
data is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection by 
NHTSA and no personally identifiable information is disclosed, 
except that the vehicle identification number may be disclosed 
to the certifying manufacturer; the data is retrieved for the 
purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, an 
emergency medical response; or the data is retrieved for 
traffic safety research and no personally identifiable 
information or vehicle identification number is disclosed.

Section 3. Vehicle event data recorder study.

    Section 3 would require NHTSA to conduct a study to 
determine the amount of time that EDRs should record vehicle-
related data in conjunction with an event in order to provide 
sufficient information to investigate the cause of motor 
vehicle crashes. NHTSA would be required to submit that study 
to Congress and, within two years, issue regulations 
establishing the amount of time before and after a crash that 
EDRs must record vehicle-related data.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.