OnStar shifts gears, won’t collect data from nonsubscribers..


By: Julie Alvin on 9/27/2011


General Motors’ OnStar service on Tuesday said it has dropped plans to keep collecting data from OnStar-equipped vehicles after owners have canceled the service.

The move comes in the wake of complaints about the data-collection plan from consumers and at least two members of Congress.

OnStar had told subscribers that, starting on Dec. 1, the company would have been able to sell or share anonymized data–data that doesn’t identify an individual customer or vehicle–about vehicle location, speed and safety-belt usage with third parties. A customer would specifically have to ask OnStar to shut down the data connection, separate from canceling the service.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar president Linda Marshall said in a statement. “This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers.”

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Al Franken of Minnesota objected to the plan, saying that it violated consumers’ privacy.

“By tracking drivers even after they’ve canceled their service, OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory,” Schumer said.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Schumer called for an investigation of the potentially unfair practice. Schumer also contacted OnStar, asking it to abandon the changes to its policy.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110927/CARNEWS/110929900#ixzz1ZGNPEEuN

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