Friday, September 23, 2011

Privacy: GM now compiling your GPS location and speed 'for any purpose, at any time' — even if you cancel OnStar

Jonathan Zdziarski's blog has some disturbing news for GM owners:
OnStar’s latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to now collect your GPS location information and speed “for any purpose, at any time”. They also have apparently granted themselves the ability to sell this personal information, 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. This could mean that if you buy a used car with OnStar, or even a new one that already has been activated by the dealer, your location and other information may get tracked by OnStar without your knowledge, even if you’ve never done business with OnStar.

The complete update can be found here.

Anonymized GPS data? There’s no such thing! ... If your vehicle is consistently parked at your home, driving down your driveway, or taking a left or right turn onto your street every single day, its pretty obvious that this is where you live! 

What is more profitable to OnStar that your personal GPS data could be used for?... How about employers who purchase these records from these third parties to see where their employees (or prospective employees) travel to (and how fast), sleaze bag lawyers who want to subpoena these records to use against you if you’re ever sued...?

...To make matters even more insulting, it was difficult to ensure the data connection was shut down after canceling. I still have no guarantee OnStar did what they were supposed to. I had to request the data connection be shut down repeatedly, after the OnStar rep attempted to leave it on and ignore my requests.

When will our congress pass legislation that stops the American people’s privacy from being raped by large data warehousing interests? Companies like OnStar, Google, Apple, and the other large abusive data warehousing companies desperately need to be investigated.

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