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After almost 10 years of marriage (hôn nhân), Christine Dowdall wanted out. Her husband was no longer the charming man she had fallen in love with. He had become narcissistic (tự ái), abusive and unfaithful, she said. After one of their fights turned violent in September 2022, Ms. Dowdall, a real estate agent, fled their home in Covington, La., driving her Mercedes-Benz C300 sedan to her daughter’s house near Shreveport, five hours away. She filed a domestic abuse (bạo hành gia đình) report with the police two days later.

Her husband, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, didn’t want to let her go. He called her repeatedly, she said, first pleading with her to return, and then threatening (đe dọa) her. She stopped responding to him, she said, even though he texted and called her hundreds of times.

Ms. Dowdall called Mercedes customer service repeatedly to try to remove her husband’s digital access (tiếp cận kỹ thuật số) to the car, but the loan and title were in his name, a decision the couple had made because he had a better credit score than hers. Even though she was making the payments, had a restraining order against her husband (lệnh cấm đối với chồng) and had been granted sole use of the car during divorce proceedings, Mercedes representatives (đại diện) told her that her husband was the customer so he would be able to keep his access. There was no button she could press to take away the app’s connection to the vehicle (phương tiện).

As a possible solution to the problem, he and other domestic violence experts pointed to the Safe Connections Act, a recent federal law (luật liên bang) that allows victims (nạn nhân) of domestic abuse to easily sever their phone from accounts shared with their abusers. A similar law should extend to cars, Mr. Dodge said, allowing people with protective orders from a court to easily cut off an abuser’s digital access to their car.

source: nytimes,

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