The technology is still some months away from being ready, according to Cellebrite, the Israel-based tech company developing the device.
Westchester County resident Ben Lieberman lost his 19-year-old son Evan Lieberman to a fatal car crash in 2011 and later discovered the driver of the car his son was in had been texting while driving. He’s now a leading advocate for the textalyzer and has worked with Cellebrite on the project. He said he understands concerns about privacy but they’re unfounded, noting the device would only tell police whether a driver had been breaking the law.
“A Breathalyzer doesn’t tell you where you were drinking, or whether it was vodka or Jack Daniels, just that you were drinking,” he said. “This is the right balance between public safety and privacy.”
Count Emily Boedigheimer as a supporter of the idea. The Albany area resident said she’s fine with police using a textalyzer, as long as there are rules about what police would be able to see.
“If you’re texting and driving you’re breaking the law and you’re risking people’s lives,” she said during a lunchtime walk in downtown Albany on July 26. “Why can’t you wait, or pull over, to make that one call or read your texts?”
The committee will hear from supporters and opponents of the technology, law enforcement officials and legal experts before issuing a report, Cuomo’s office said. Particular areas of focus will include the effectiveness of the technology, constitutional and legal issues and how the device would be used in practice.