Roadside 'textalyser' will check phone's metadata

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A new gadget, dubbed a 'textalyser', could be used by police to gauge if a driver has been distracted by their mobile phone prior to a road incident, the Telegraph reports.

Cellebrite, an Israeli company, is building the new device.

Instances of distracted driving have increased significantly through the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices. This has led to accidents and deaths on UK roads.

Excluding drivers who may have just put their phones down or been in the process of picking them up, 67 people died in the UK in the past three years as a result of a driver being on their phone.

According to the Department for Transport, mobile phone use is the highest cause of death when compared to other in-car causes, such as passengers, children and sat-navs.

The idea for using the technology has been proposed by draft legislation in New York. Drivers will be required to submit their phones for testing if they were pulled up by the police.

As privacy laws do not allow police to force people to unlock their phone to check for recent activity, the 'textalyser' will look at the phone's metadata. This will establish whether the phone has been recently used or not.

Drivers' data, such as conversations, contacts, numbers and photos, will be kept private.

According to the Telegraph, due to the tight end-to-end encryption on many devices, it is unclear whether it will be possible. However, there are ways to access metadata.

Do you think the 'textalyser' is an effective solution?

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