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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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OnStar Begins Spying On Customers’ GPS Location For Profit
September 20, 2011 by Jonathan Zdziarski

"I canceled the OnStar subscription on my new GMC vehicle today after receiving an email from the company about their new terms and conditions... OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement.

To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling."

Jonathan Zdziarski's Domain
www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=1270

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Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's coming: Your car will rat you out to insurers
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/21/onstar_ecall/

OnStar Tracks Your Car Even When You Cancel Service
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/onstar-tracks-you/

GM cars getting a little more creepy
http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2011/09/22/gm-cars-getting-a-little-more-creepy/

New OnStar policy draws privacy concerns
http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2011/09/new-onstar-policy-draws-privacy-concerns.html

OnStar may start selling data collected from cars
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/09/onstar-privacy-policy.html

OnStar Is Watching (Even After Your Subscription Expires)
http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1066447_onstar-is-watching-even-after-your-subscription-expires

WATCH OUT: OnStar Tracks Your Movements And Sells Them, Even If You Cancel ...
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/09/21/onstar-set-to-start-tracking-sharing-more-data-from-cars/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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Democratic senators Al Franken of Minnesota and Christopher ***** of Delaware objected to the change in a Sept. 21 letter to OnStar that urged the company to reconsider its data policy.

OnStar will respond directly to the senators, OnStar spokesman Adam Denison said. He declined to say when the company would reply or share details of its response.

Franken and ***** asked the company whether it has experienced any leaks of customer information and what it does to protect such data. The senators said OnStar's actions underscore the need for legislation to protect consumer information online including people's location.

"OnStar's actions appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness for OnStar's approximately six million customers -- especially for those customers who have already ended their relationships with your company," the senators wrote.

Franken introduced a bill in June that would require companies such as Apple Inc. and Google Inc. and mobile- application developers to obtain permission from mobile devices such as smartphones before collecting location data and sharing that information with third parties.

Franken, who chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, held a May 10 hearing on mobile privacy with executives from Apple and Google.

His location bill is co-sponsored by ***** and Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Richard Durbin of Illinois, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, along with Bernard Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, ***** spokesman Ian Koski said in an e-mail.

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GM's OnStar Unit Alters Privacy Policy, Drawing Senators' Wrath
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/23/bloomberg_articlesLRZE566K50Y4.DTL
 

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1984, anyone? A little too Big Brother for me.

But, then again, if you have an iPhone, and have your GPS turned on so that you can see where you are on the maps, then you're essentially accomplishing the same thing - if you take a picture on your phone, people can use the information attached to that picture to find out precisely where you were when you took it.

And now Facebook automatically attaches the city from which you post a status update. You can't disable that. Dislike.
 

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I think they're all doing it. When I bought my vehicle I was told I would have to finance it for at least three months with Ally in order to get the $1500.00 rebate. When I objected I was told it would be interest free and that if I wanted to I could do it for 36 months interest free. Filling out the paperwork, not thinking, I gave them my primary email address. It puzzled me why they would do this not making a dime on the deal, and now I think I know. About a month after closing the deal I got a letter from Ally listing the information they share about me with other companies and what information I could prevent them from sharing and what information I couldn't. Shortly after that my junk mail tripled. I think they should substitute the word share with sell and I also think the government should protect us from BS like this.
 

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Does anyone know how to completely disable the Onstar unit in the Equinox? I know you can ask them to stop data collection but they say that could take 60 days???. I wonder if there's a permanent and quicker solution.
 

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No OnStar no problem; my six months is up in a few days.
 

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43sbest said:
No OnStar no problem; my six months is up in a few days.
I think the important thing to note in all of this, is that they are reserving the right to continue to collect information, even after you discontinue your subscription - UNLESS you specifically request them to turn off the GPS functionalities.

That's my understanding, at least.
 

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If you have an EZ-Pass or other radio toll device they have sensors on many roads (ex New York State Thruway) where track the tags at non toll areas. They are used for traffic patterns and other uses. The information is not used on an individual basis.
 

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Check this out. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Fired-Government-Worker-GPS-Tracking-Invaded-Privacy.html

The FBI also uses what they call "Stingrays" to track people they are investigating. Other police agencies use them but get a "court order" but not a search warrant which requires probable cause. A stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower, getting a phone to connect to it and measuring signals from the phone. It lets the stingray operator "ping," or send a signal to, a phone and locate it as long as it is powered on.
 

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Yea - the only thing this thread has accomplished is making me paranoid. lol.

Anyone else?

(do appreciate knowing about OnStar's intentions though)
 

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Re: OnStar Begins Spying On Customers’ GPS Location For Profit?

If anybody from GM is reading, this is a bad idea that will cost them subscribers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I started this thread because I am an administrator/moderator at some computer security forums, and it is a hot topic of conversation. Whatever you find using Google, etc, only pales in comparison to what is being discussed behind the scenes in the private areas.

On a personal note, my subscription expires next month, and I'm really struggling with the decision of whether to renew or not. Without injecting a degree of paranoia, there are some real privacy issues involved here. OnStar can provide some real positive benefits to subscribers, but in the current environment how smart is it to "trust" that one's personal data won't be sold? Just look at the current controversy about Facebook, et al.

I guess my biggest issue is this ... I own my Nox. I should have some say in whether any data about my vehicle can be captured and potentially sold, without any benefit to me. If I choose to terminate my subscription, why can it possibly be acceptable for OnStar to continue the datalink and "record" information. If I cancel my lawn service, they don't return. If I change internet providers, the old one is out in the cold. Quite simple.

YMMV
 

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Tdog said:
If anybody from GM is reading, this is a bad idea that will cost them subscribers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I don't think GM owns onstar...
Sent from my 10 year old e-machine with dial-up so if their tracking this it will take them awhile....
Does Iphone always include that message or did you type it in
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
fourmoremarine said:
I don't think GM owns onstar...
If memory serves, OnStar is a subsidiary of General Motors.

Then again, GM is 27% owned by the US government and 12% by the Canadian government.

On a related note, I guess the news media will be giving this issue wider play now that Chuckie Schumer is playing to the cameras: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/09/senator-charges-gms-onstar-invades-privacy/1

I must confess I agree with his comment that customers shouldn't have to "opt out" after they end their OnStar service.
 

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winchester73 said:
I must confess I agree with his comment that customers shouldn't have to "opt out" after they end their OnStar service.
Agreed. It irks me when companies sell your info when you aren't even subscribing to them anymore. And it's really annoying that every 6 months or so I have to call Geico AGAIN and tell them to stop sending me promo mailings. Jerks. Reason enough to make me NOT want to get insurance through them.
 

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rshaw1655 said:
Does anyone know how to completely disable the Onstar unit in the Equinox? I know you can ask them to stop data collection but they say that could take 60 days???. I wonder if there's a permanent and quicker solution.

Anyone,know how to do this ..........simpler the better
 
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