Textalyzer: Helpful tool or invasion of privacy?

Posted at 12:22 AM, Apr 29, 2016

A bill currently in the State Senate Finance Committee would provide field testing of cell phones and portable electronic devices after an accident or collision.

An electronic scanning device would read data on a driver's cell phone to determine whether or not the driver was violating state operating laws.

Although this bill has not yet passed, some Western New Yorkers are calling it an invasion of privacy.

"I have a lot of personal information on my phone so I don't think anyone should just take my phone and run it through a textalyzer to see what I was doing on it," said one person we spoke with.

"A legislation like this could have a domino effect," Steve MacMartin told 7 Eyewitness News.

Steve MacMartin, a former computer forensics expert, says he has used phone scanning devices in the past. He says the law is written to only extract the metadata needed to determine what was being done before an accident, but the scanners have the potential to do more.

"It's going to extract all of the data that is on the phone and there is the potential that its going to include content of texts and emails."