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Driverless Snitch? New Car Technology Could Call The Cops On You

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Your car could one day snitch on you if you misbehave, with technology that could call the cops on you.

The company behind the technology says it will keep people safe, but is it an invasion of privacy?

Even if your car drives itself, you can still get busted for drinking, texting, or sleeping because if your car malfunctions, you have to be able to take over.

Police say the driver barreling down the 101 in Redwood City at 70 miles per hour on autopilot in November was drunk and asleep. It was science fiction nearly three decades ago when California's future governor was forced to take control of the robot taxi in Total Recall.

READ ALSO: Californians Could Soon Register Their Vehicle Every Other Year

Now Chinese tech giant Huawei is working to keep driver's honest by developing technology to detect if you're drunk, tired, distracted, or have a bad case of road rage.

A camera trained on your face looks for clues that you're impaired and listens for things like slurred speech. It can then lock the car's controls or call the cops on you.

The CHP says it's too early to weigh in on the concept, saying they don't want to speculate about technology that might arrive in the future. But privacy advocates say constant surveillance is dangerous.

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"It's not just were you slurring your speech? It's how fast are you driving and where were you going and where did you stop," said Robin Swanson with Californians for  Consumer Privacy.

That's information they're afraid could be sold.

"Once it leaves our hands that is the bigger question and that is where consumers are demanding the right to know," Swanson said.

A new state law going into effect next year requires companies to tell consumers what personal information is being collected and who sees it. You will have the right to opt out as well.

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