Briefing Note – Mandatory Installation of Event Data Recorders: The eCall System

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks regarding the European Commission’s plans for all new cars to be installed with event data recorders in order to enable the eCall system.We have produced a briefing (PDF) to explain the background of the policy, the concerns that have been raised and the other potential uses for event data recorders once they have been installed. The key points raised in our briefing are:

  • There is an important distinction to be made between eCall and the Event Data Recorders (EDRs). Whilst the eCall system may not record the location of the car constantly, the EDR does have that capability.
  • There are concerns that the EDRs ability to gather extensive data can and will be misused as:
    • the data could be accessed by hackers to track individuals’ location.
    • insurance companies can use this to promote personalised insurance quotes by recording how individuals drive.
    • police forces have already been using eCall systems to track suspicious motorists.
  • The installation of the EDR will be mandatory, a move that goes against British principles of liberty and freedom of choice.
  • The eCall system is not cost efficient nor will it have a significant impact on safety in the UK.
Posted by on Jul 2, 2014 in Research and reports | 5 Comments


  1. Response to Big Brother Watch Briefing on eCall System and thoughts on the idea of ‘smarter cars’ | Rouse Blog
    3rd July 2014

    […] broadly welcome the points made in a briefing summary by Big Brother Watch on the topic of the eCall system, part of the broader idea of having ‘smarter cars’ on our roads, which is something I […]

  2. philip
    4th July 2014

    What was a invisable, creeping, and insurmountable electronic ‘chainlink fence’–which is closing slowly upon us, has now shown itself for what it has always been, a planned programme of destruction, of ALL our freedoms; be it speech, written word, or movements. The die is cast–our ability to object to, denigh, or fight this is disappearing fast—–At the very least, pass on this email to all you know–or even don’t know-so long as you have their mailing address–then it’s up to them what becomes of it.

  3. Alan Harrison
    4th July 2014

    This must be stopped. I urge BBW to publicise this as much as possible. People must be made to understand that they are sleep walking themselves into a future nightmare.

  4. Habeas Corpus
    31st July 2014

    To paraphrase Frederick Russell Burnham, I sincerely wish to see ‘an administration where there are the fewest laws, the widest freedoms, the least crime and the truest justice…’

    Unfortunately it appears that to the contrary we are unceasingly flooded by new laws which seem to do little but overwhelm our freedoms.

  5. Steven T
    8th September 2014

    I’m no longer telling anyone about this! I’m tired of being labeled a ‘nut job’. Having said that, I’ve just ordered an Audi, as VAG seem to be one of the last ‘premium’ car makers who don’t install E-Call.