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Controversial ‘textalyzer’ device could be up for consideration again in New York

Two years ago, New York almost passed legalization of the device known as a 'textalyzer.' It works by scanning a cell phone's recent activity to see how and when someone may have been using it.

New York didn't end up legalizing use of the device. However, states like Nevada are currently mulling its legalization, and it's possible New York could do the same.

Distracted driving advocates say it could help deter distracted driving while also catching those guilty of doing it.

Kris Cyr is one of those advocates. Her daughter, Shawna, died when she was just 17-years-old in a texting and driving accident.

Cyr now travels around the state, and tells Shawna's stories to people of all ages, in an effort to curb distracted driving.

"I try to send the message that one bad choice or decision on your end can end your life," said Cyr.



Cyr says she's for any legislation or technology that could help deter distracted driving – that includes legalizing the 'textalyzer.'

"If there’s any technology out there that’s going to make people pause, and act before they think, bring it on," said Cyr.

But opponents argue such legalization could be a breach of privacy.

"Once you say they can access it to find out if they’re using it, the next thing you know, they’re going to be accessing it to find out the content of the text," said attorney Ed Fiandach.

The company behind the device says it works by scanning the activity, but doesn't store it or show the content of any of the activity.

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