Watch CBS News

Invasion Of Privacy? Police Considering 'Textalyzer' Device To Crack Down On Distracted Driving

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- You've heard of a breathalyzer, but what about a textalyzer?

The device, which was created to detect smartphone activity, resembles an iPad and plugs directly into your smartphone. It could soon help law enforcement determine distracted driving after an accident.

New Jersey is among a handful of states considering the high-tech tool, and this week, Chicago could become the first city to pass legislation.

New Air Jordan Sneakers Made With Surprising Twist

"It may not be a bad pilot and perhaps a deterrent," said Renee Yancey of Alexandria, Virginia.

Lauren Kilroy of Cinnaminson, New Jersey countered, "I don't really like that, I feel like it's very invasive."

The manufacturer, Cellebrite, insists the device does not extract personal information while alerting officers to phone activity.

But, not everyone's buying it, including the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Once you allow the intrusion into that device, you really allow intrusion into much of your personal life. And all of this is being done on the streets without any warrant, without any judicial oversight," said Ed Yohnka, with the Illinois ACLU.

Philly Coffee Shop Selling 'Sh*Thole Blend' To Help Local Immigrants

Still, the question remains: will it help save lives by forcing drivers to think twice before picking up the phone?

"I think there could be that positive effect on deterrence," said Yancey.

Vanessa Finnan of Cinnaminson added, "There's a law you can't be on your phone people still do it anyway, so I don't think it's going to change much."


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.