Smartphone Forensics to Detect Distraction
The company Cellebrite is developing a portable forensics device that would determine if a smartphone user was using the phone at a particular time. The idea is to test phones of drivers after accidents:
Under the first-of-its-kind legislation proposed in New York, drivers involved in accidents would have to submit their phone to roadside testing from a textalyzer to determine whether the driver was using a mobile phone ahead of a crash. In a bid to get around the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the textalyzer allegedly would keep conversations, contacts, numbers, photos, and application data private. It will solely say whether the phone was in use prior to a motor-vehicle mishap. Further analysis, which might require a warrant, could be necessary to determine whether such usage was via hands-free dashboard technology and to confirm the original finding.
This is interesting technology. To me, it feels no more intrusive than a breathalyzer, assuming that the textalyzer has all the privacy guards described above.
EDITED TO ADD (4/19): Good analysis and commentary.