GPS Privacy in Doubt for Former OnStar Customers

GPS Privacy in Doubt for Former OnStar Customers


Effective in December 2011 OnStar GPS navigation-and-emergency-services company will collect vehicle data for those customers who terminate their agreements.

The 10 page OnStar Privacy Statement states that:

Unless the Data Connection to your Vehicle is deactivated, data about your Vehicle will continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan. It is important that you convey this to other drivers, occupants, or subsequent owners of your Vehicle. You may deactivate the Data Connection to your Vehicle at any time by contacting an OnStar Advisor.

In addition to GPS location data the Privacy Statement goes on to specify what information OnStar collects:

  • your contact information, (including your name, address, telephone number and email address);
  • your billing information (including your credit card number);
  • information about the purchase or lease of your Vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year and date of purchase or lease and selling/preferred dealer; and
  • other information that you voluntarily provide to us (such as your language preference, your license plate number and/or your emergency contact information).

It will be interesting to see how many OnStar customers will allow this tracking when their contracts end. GPS data intrudes on personal privacy whether it's an iPhone, iPad, or OnStar device. But do people really think about their GPS privacy?

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