OnStar: Shame on you

Posted on September 22, 2011. Filed under: Business, Customer Service, Good Business, Life | Tags: , , , , , |

For the record I do not own a GM car, but have thought the introduction of OnStar emergency services was a wonderful idea.  And when I saw that you could now purchase OnStar at BestBuy for installation on any car, well I was elated.  Was even considering buying one for my wife’s car.

Now however, my high regard for OnStar has come crashing to the ground … perhaps even below ground.

In the article below it is revealed that OnStar now continuously monitors your vehicle and sells that information to insurance companies, law enforcement, and anyone else who might be interested. 

To put it another way:  Customers purchase the OnStar service and pay a monthly fee so that OnStar can profit even more by selling detailed customer information. 

 That’s just too much of an invasion of privacy for me.

Article:

GM’s OnStar now spying on your car for profit even after you unsubscribe? [UPDATE]

OnStar
 

By Zach Bowman RSS feed

Posted Sep 21st 2011 4:28Pm

 
If you’re the owner of a fairly new General Motors product, you may want to take a close look at the most recent OnStar terms and conditions. As it turns out, the company has altered the parameters under which it can legally collect GPSdata on your vehicle.Originally, the terms and conditions stated that OnStar could only collect information on your vehicle’s location during a theft recovery or in the midst of sending emergency services your way. That has apparently changed. Now, OnStar says that it has the right to collect and sell personal, yet supposedly anonymous information on your vehicle, including speed, location, seat belt usage and other information.

Who would be interested in that data, you ask? Law enforcement agencies, for starters, as well as insurance companies. Perhaps the most startling news to come out of the latest OnStar terms and conditions is the fact that the company can continue to collect the information even after you disconnect the service. If you want the info to be cut off all together, you’ll have to specifically shut down the vehicle’s data connection. If that sounds scary, you should check out a full breakdown of the new policies here.

*UPDATE: OnStar has released a statement in response to the dust up over its newest set of terms and conditions:

 
New Terms & ConditionsThe following statement can be attributed to Joanne Finnorn, Vice President, Subscriber Services

“OnStar has and always will give our customers the choice in how we use their data. We’ve also been very open with our customers about changes in services and privacy terms.

“Under our new Terms and Conditions, when a customer cancels service, we have informed customers that OnStar will maintain a two-way connection to their vehicle unless they ask us not to do so. In the future, this connection may provide us with the capability to alert vehicle occupants about severe weather conditions such as tornado warnings or mandatory evacuations. Another benefit for keeping this connection “open” could be to provide vehicle owners with any updated warranty data or recall issues.

“Of course, if the customer requests us to turn off the two-way connection, we will do as we have always done, and that is honor customers’ requests.

“Our guiding practices regarding sharing our subscribers’ personal information have not changed. We are always very specific about with whom we share customers’ personal information, and how they will use it. We have never sold any personally identifiable information to any third party.

“Keeping the two-way connection open will also allow OnStar to capture general vehicle information that could be used in future product development.

“We apologize for creating any confusion about our Terms and Conditions. We want to make sure we are as clear with our customers as possible, but it’s apparent that we have failed to do this. As always, we are listening to our subscribers’ feedback and we will continue to be open to their suggestions and concerns.”

 
Sorry OnStar, I’m not buying it . . . or your product. 
 
That’s my 2 cents
 
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