Chuck Shumer is off base about Onstar
This is similar to the flap about tracking files on Ipads and IPhones a while back. Anonymized datasets are useful info, and as long as it still takes a subpoena or warrant to get any specific information I don’t have a beef with Onstar collecting the generic data. Data like this is wonderfully useful when it comes to developing new products, traffic planning, and hosts of other things.
The OnStar automobile communication service used by 6 million Americans maintains its two-way connection with a customer even after the service is discontinued, while reserving the right to sell data from that connection.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says that’s a blatant invasion of privacy and is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. But OnStar says former customers can stop the two-way transmission, and no driving data of customers has been shared or sold.
“OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory,” said Schumer, a Democrat. “I urge OnStar to abandon.
But the General Motors Corp. OnStar service says customers are thoroughly informed of the new practice. If a customer says he or she doesn’t want to have data collected after service is ended, OnStar disconnects the tracking.
And although OnStar reserves the right to share or sell data on customers’ speed, location, use of seat belts and other practices, a spokesman says it hasn’t done so and doesn’t plan to.
“We apologize for creating any confusion about our terms and conditions,” said Joanne Finnor, vice president of subscriber services. “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. … We will continue to be open to their suggestions and concerns.”