Skip to main content

    An unusual feature on the 2015 Corvette is a legal can of worms

    An unusual feature on the 2015 Corvette is a legal can of worms

    Share this story

    Chevrolet's latest Corvette can be equipped with GM's new Performance Data Recorder option, which functions a bit like a built-in GoPro and microphone array that's wired into the car's vital stats. In normal use, the idea is to turn your track days into learning experiences — you can analyze the footage to figure out what you're doing right and wrong to shave a few tenths of a second off your lap times, sharing your best work on YouTube. Problem is, the PDR can also break the law.

    Among other things, the PDR features a "Valet Mode," which allows the owner to "lock the interior storage, disable the infotainment system and record video, audio and vehicle data" by setting a four-digit code — the idea is that when you're handing the keys over to a porter, they can't go hog-wild with your Vette's 455hp V8. But audio from the car's cabin gets recorded automatically, without the driver's consent. That's illegal in most states, which require that at least one party in the conversation be aware of what's going on (and some require all).

    GM has acknowledged the issue, promising a software update to buff out the legal troubles — though it isn't yet saying how it's going to do that — and in the meantime, it's encouraging owners not to use Valet Mode unless everyone know's exactly what's going on. Here's the full statement:

    Yes, Chevrolet has taken certain steps to help ensure that the Performance Data Recorder, an option on the 2015 Corvette, is used consistent with US laws that relate to recording devices. The issue only impacts a minor aspect of the Performance Data Recorder, which in "Valet Mode" permits an owner, among other things, to record audio in the vehicle after handing the keys to someone else. The vehicle does not currently provide notice to vehicle occupants that they are being recorded.

    In the near future, we will be making a software update available to remedy this issue. A number of alternatives are under consideration. In the meantime, US customers have been sent a letter advising that they should not use the "Valet Mode," or that if they do they should obtain consent from the vehicle's occupants before they record them in the vehicle. A similar communication has been sent to Chevrolet dealers.

    Today’s Storystream

    Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

    External Link
    Emma RothSep 24
    California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

    The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

    A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

    Andrew WebsterSep 24
    Look at this Thing.

    At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

    The Verge
    Andrew WebsterSep 24
    Get ready for some Netflix news.

    At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

    Andrew WebsterSep 24
    Looking for something to do this weekend?

    Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

    A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
    Thermae Romae Novae.
    Image: Netflix
    Jay PetersSep 23
    Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

    Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

    Tom WarrenSep 23
    Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

    Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

    External Link
    If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

    Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

    Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

    External Link
    Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

    Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

    Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.