OnStar: Wherever you go, it tells the government where you are

Even if you cancel the service OnStar keeps tracking your car, in real time.

Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.

And they make no bones about why – they sell that data to anyone who wants it.

“We hear from organizations periodically requesting our information,” he said.

He said an example of how the data might be used would be for the Michigan Department of Transportation “to get a feel for traffic usage on a specific section of freeway.” The policy also allows the data to be used for marketing purposes by OnStar and vehicle manufacturers.

Your speeding ticket is in the mail:

Collecting location and speed data via GPS might also create a treasure trove of data that could be used in criminal and civil cases. One could also imagine an eager police chief acquiring the data to issue speeding tickets en masse.

OnStar says they won’t track your car if you ask them not to. Uh huh. Sure.


2 thoughts on “OnStar: Wherever you go, it tells the government where you are

  1. We have not sold any data, nor do we currently have any plans to do so. We’re just trying to be up front and honest with our customers. We’ve obviously created some confusion, so we’re doing what we can to clear this up.

  2. Hi Adam, want to clear up the confusion? say "We will not sell the data or disclose it to anyone. Ever.""We currently have no plans" is remarkably disingenuous. Your plans could, and most likely will, change.

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