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Senator Goes After 'Brazen' OnStar Privacy Shift

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the be-careful-they-know-your-tire-pressure dept.

Government 185

coondoggie writes "U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission to get the agency to investigate recent changes navigation and emergency services company OnStar made to its privacy practices. Schumer said, 'By tracking drivers even after they’ve cancelled their service, OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory. I urge OnStar to abandon this policy and for FTC to immediately launch a full investigation to determine whether the company’s actions constitute an unfair trade practice.'"

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What car does the senator drive? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521582)

I wonder if this is one of those "Oh, shit, not in my backyard!" type of reflex actions. Perhaps the Senator actually has one of those disabled services?

Whatever the cause for the Senator's huff and puff, at least it is good huffing and puffing.

Re: NIGGERS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521608)

Why do black people hate God? You'd hate God too if he put pubes on your head!

Re: NIGGERS! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521910)

Yeah? Well I noticed you have a lot of mine in your teeth!

Re:What car does the senator drive? (3, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521636)

Don't worry, some kind soul representing GM/OnStar will explain it all to him. He'll take a nice long vacation in the Bahamas with his secretary and never press the issue again.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521778)

The funny thing is they *PROBABLY* had gotten away with it. "We are offering a free service to all customers and previous ones at no extra charge".

It is amazing what people will give away when then think they are getting something in exchange...

Re:What car does the senator drive? (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521782)

He'll take a nice long vacation in the Bahamas with his secretary and never press the issue again.

You accuse someone you most likely know little about of committing future crimes and cheating on his wife of 30 years with no evidence whatsoever. If you would not want the government to do the same to you, maybe you could find it in your character to walk back those accusations.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521882)

If you would not want the government to do the same to you, maybe you could find it in your character to walk back those accusations.

Yeah, because if the time ever comes when members of the government might want to publicly smear a private citizen they will certain back off once they check his record and see that he's always been extremely respectful of those elected to office.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521972)

You missed my point. I restated the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. It's not about getting something out of it (preferential treatment by the government), it's about doing the right thing.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (2)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522060)

You missed my point. I restated the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. It's not about getting something out of it (preferential treatment by the government), it's about doing the right thing.

Apparently it's been a while since you last visited Slashdot.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522254)

You missed my point. I restated the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. It's not about getting something out of it (preferential treatment by the government), it's about doing the right thing.

So, how do you reconcile your response with the ages-old Q/A, "How can you tell when a politician is lying?" "His lips are moving." ???

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522334)

You don't. Politicians are scum, and not because I'm being an ass, but because you simply don't get to go high in politics if you're not scum - you will be undercut and taken down by other scum who want the same job as you.

The saying referenced by grandparent is good for personal interaction. In personal life, a politician can be a really nice person. But when it comes to professional behavior, especially in politics, it has no place.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523104)

This same line of thought applies to one rising in the ranks of corporate America. Managers, administrators have to be no less of a politician to get and keep a job with power and influence nowadays. Whether it's a U.S. Senator or CEO, makes not a damn bit of difference.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522346)

I want to be tied up, gagged with a rubber ducky and bludgeoned by a 12" kielbasa while simultaneously having my nipples stimulated by a mild electric current.

I've learned my lesson. You try to do the right thing by sharing your version of sexual ecstasy with one reluctant transgendered Eskimo and you're labeled a sex criminal for life.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522536)

and how long must you turn the other cheek? at what point do you stop and point out the errors of others?

Re:What car does the senator drive? (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522590)

You missed my point. I restated the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. It's not about getting something out of it (preferential treatment by the government), it's about doing the right thing.

When the senator voluntarily joined a group with a long and storied history of abusing the golden rule not only did he invalidate any claim to it, he practically asked to end up on the wrong end of it.

In particular, his past issues [weeklystandard.com] regarding personal privacy of political opponents suggests the criticism is not baseless. You may not like the hyperbole used to express that skepticism, but that's your problem. A pol who would take that personally would be to thin skinned to ever get elected in the first place.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522010)

He'll take a nice long vacation in the Bahamas with his secretary and never press the issue again.

You accuse someone you most likely know little about of committing future crimes and cheating on his wife of 30 years with no evidence whatsoever. If you would not want the government to do the same to you, maybe you could find it in your character to walk back those accusations.

You're right.

This is Chuck Shumer we're talking about - put up a camera and he'd outrun Usain Bolt to put his face in front of it.

Chuckie wouldn't run off with his secretary, but he would sell YOUR soul for some free air time....

Re:What car does the senator drive? (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522422)

As a scientist, I try not to make judgements except as indicated by evidence.

However, human beings have evolved to notice patterns and make inferences.

It doesn't matter whether a pattern holds true in all cases, it only matters whether it's more *likely* to be true as it influences my next decision.

Thus it may not be true that all crows are black, but this is not the important point. What matters is whether the *next* crow I see will be black, given all the crows that I have seen so far. I'll take that bet, because the likelihood is there.

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether an average politician being motivated by their own interests is the better bet.

(Hint: set it up as a game-theoretic problem, given that almost all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money [which is empirically true]. Alternately, look at the voting history of the politician in question and see if you can determine the % which were in the public interest.)

Re:What car does the senator drive? (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522724)

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether an average politician being motivated by their own interests is the better bet.

It's possible to be skeptical of a politician's motive without accusing him of crimes and infidelity to his wife. If you want patterns, the story of politicians reflects the general population: the majority are law abiding and faithful to their spouses. Neither patterns or evidence support the (tongue in cheek) claims of the original poster.

What motivates me in this thread is avoiding the destructive, lazy and incorrect "government is populated exclusively by immoral criminal scum" cop out. It fixes nothing, and guarantees those who actually attempt to *do* something useful will be beaten down along with real sociopaths. This is a restatement of another fine saying: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

why is this moderated insightfull? (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522490)

When funny is the obvious choice.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522730)

Yeah because THIS politican isn't corrupt and paid for. Right. THIS one for sure.
And just because 99% of the people he hangs out with have screwed us over in the past is no reason to judge this guy that way. RIGHT.

Look. if you don't like the image the company you keep projects... You should hang out with better people.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522884)

And just because 99% of the people he hangs out with have screwed us over in the past is no reason to judge this guy that way. RIGHT.

Nethemas implied the Senator would take a personal bribe and have an affair with his secretary. That is an ad hominem attack that has no basis in fact. Nethemas could have suggested the Senator would suddenly have his campaign coffers replenished or his opponent may show up in a series of unfavorable television advertisements. That behavior would be very characteristic for a politician. It's all about it explaining in the right way.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521822)

Schumer is one of the few good senators who regularly goes after corporations when they abuse us lower lifeforms. Not that I think he's necessarily more moral than his colleagues, he's just in a position where it's easy for him to act on that sense of morality. When you routinely win your elections by 30+ point margins, you don't need to worry so much about pissing off potential corporate donors.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522192)

True, Chuck does a lot of good work. Shame about his hate for model rocketry.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522736)

Similar in fashion to the way Chuck Grassley went after Pentagon waste. It was easy for him to do for the simple fact Iowa has few if any companies who regularly feed at the trough of the military.

Re:What car does the senator drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521944)

I wish he were using AT&T too.

Good for the economy (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521592)

There is a booming industry in removing the GPS and other OnStar components fro GM vehicles. Sure, most of it is for less than legal reasons, but still... More jobs!

Re:Good for the economy (2)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522416)

There is a booming industry in removing the GPS and other OnStar components fro GM vehicles. Sure, most of it is for less than legal reasons, but still... More jobs!

Read what you posted again. Tell me one illegal reason to remove a leaky location tracking device.

The only reason I can think of is: I don't want anyone to know where I am/track me without my knowledge.

There is nothing illegal about that.

Re:Good for the economy (1)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522586)

You're misunderstanding GP.

He isn't saying that people are removing GPS and other OnStar components illegally; rather, he's saying that they're removing the components because they wish to do illegal things.

For example, one might wish "part ways" with his "former colleague" by "taking a trip" to the Pine Barrens, for which he may wish some privacy.

Re:Good for the economy (4, Insightful)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522662)

I understood perfectly, but thank you for explaining for those that may not see.

Consider this: the reason to want privacy may consist of illegal activities, but wanting privacy is not illegal in the slightest, and should never -ever- be construed as such.

Re:Good for the economy (0)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#37523016)

Dude, most people could care less if some database contains information on where their car has gone (and potentially when it has gone there). I certainly don't care in my case. Murderers, thieves, and such, on the other hand, have a very damn good reason to care. It's simple enough.

And no, I don't claim everyone who removes tracking equipment is engaged in illegal activity, and I don't question their motives. I just think as a point of interesting speculation (and it is impossible to prove) that most who do so are so engaged.

Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521620)

Remember: all the taxes you pay WILL be used against you.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521656)

That god damn road they built, they did it just to spite me.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (0, Offtopic)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521672)

That god damn road they built, they did it just to spite me.

The odd thing is the left like to talk about how wonderful the government is because it builds roads, but then they complain that people drive cars rather than use trains, and demand that said people should be forced out of their cars to combat 'Global Climate Warming Change'.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521696)

Nonsense. The Left has been complaining about roads being built for decades.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522208)

Only a subset of them. I had a professor that argued that if we increase traffic (which hurts the environment) it will encourage more people to take public transport. So he's green by way of causing traffic jams. I tried to get him to explain when the payoff would come from making traffic worse and more people taking public transport, but he could never defend the idea any more than "It'll make them take public transport." I've been to southern CA, the traffic is bad, and public transport is still underused. Most people would consider me a radical environmentalist, and I'm all for roads (and traffic efficiency).

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (2)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521722)

Yes, because one AC == The Left, roads are useful == roads are the best at everything, reducing car use == forcing people out of cars, Climate Change == scam for scientists to line their pocket with money.

Did I miss any wild exaggerations, strawmen and other fabrications that you managed to sneak in your single sentence?

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521918)

Not really, we've been complaining about the over reliance upon cars. You do realize that buses and bikes can and are used on roads, right? And that it's mostly when people decide to live many miles away from their work and drive by themselves that we start having problem.

But, then again, I bet it's easier to just bash a fictitious view than to actually deal with reality. I'm sure that there are a few oddballs that believe it, but they're hardly the majority of liberals.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521718)

bah. The government owns half of GM. It was probably their idea to start with, figuring that people might be more likely to accept it if it wasn't coming being done directly by the government.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521862)

Only where half = 27%. Also, OnStar predates the government owning a large share of GM.

Re:Just jealous the gov't didn't think of it first (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522396)

The "January 2011 announcement to change their policy and continue to track customers" doesn't seem to predate the government investment, though. You know, just in case your tin foil hat fell off. ;)

More brazen than the government? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521634)

I know it's stating the obvious, but is it more brazen than planting a device without your knowledge and NOT calling it an invasion of privacy?

Re:More brazen than the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521676)

Ah, the American schizophrenic attitude to government.

Expect nothing of your government, and you get the government you expect.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521926)

You mean the schizophrenic attitude of the voters, right? It's not like they get mixed messages from the voters.

Re:More brazen than the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522446)

It's almost as if voters consist of more than one mindset. Hell, it's not even the same people voting every time. It's not a matter of them getting mixed messages as much as it is the playing to different voters and rallying the idiots^H^H^H^H^H^H base of each party.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521686)

Yeah, I wish old Chuckie was as outraged about the GPS tracking as he is about this.

It's good to see somebody willing to check into it, but I doubt much will be done. After all, it is "Government Motors" doing it.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521732)

No, its OnStar you ass.

Place the blame where it belongs.

Re:More brazen than the government? (3, Informative)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521830)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnStar

First sentence: "OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors Which is owned 27% by the U.S. government and 12% by the Canadian government."

You are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.

Indeed.

Re:More brazen than the government? (2)

Kozz (7764) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522020)

Interesting. The percentage was added to the wikipedia article TODAY. Where do those numbers come from? Thought you might want to know.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522024)

I retract my statement, I did not know that onstar belonged to GM.

Re:More brazen than the government? (-1, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522336)

Learn to do research first before opening your mouth.

Maybe you'll land a job making $12K *DAILY* like me once you learn how to do that.

MOD PARENT OBNOXIOUS (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522448)

Learn to do research first before opening your mouth.

Maybe you'll land a job making $12K *DAILY* like me once you learn how to do that.

Too bad money can't buy tact, eh? If it could though, you'd need to spend your $12K DAILY!OMFG on it.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522502)

Yea, whatever.

Re:More brazen than the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523048)

Christ, you're the biggest moron on Slashdot today.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522344)

Right and for better or for worse, those are non-voting shares so the US Government has about as much say in what goes on at GM as I do as a random member of the public. I take it you don't recall the uproar when it was suggested that some of the corporations getting bailed out should be required to fire their executives as a condition of acceptance.

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522410)

The previous poster had claimed that the poster he was replying to was an ass for placing the blame on GM. I was highlighting that OnStar *is* GM.

I object to the socializing private losses with public money, but that wasn't the point of my post.

Amusing to the Max (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522434)

Right and for better or for worse, those are non-voting shares so the US Government has about as much say in what goes on at GM as I do as a random member of the public.

HA HA HA HA HO HE HA HO HE HA HO HA HA HA HA!!!!

As much say? I don't remember having the power to fire the CEO [politicsdaily.com]

And I don't think that having the head of GM assigned to lead the government as an economic advisor on creating jobs(!) [huffingtonpost.com] is exactly the kind of hands-off model you are proposing.

Not to mention that as part of getting that money, GM had to move all creditors to the back of the line behind unions who lost not a cent of money.

Re:Amusing to the Max (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522688)

Reading fail! The economic adviser you're referring to is the head of GE (General Electric), not GM.

Re:Amusing to the Max (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523058)

Oh if I only had 10 slashdot ID's with a mod point each!

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

gonzonista (790137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522450)

OnStar base are belong to us!

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521736)

Funny, you make it sound like the Federal Government is one big monolithic entity that always works with single mindedness...

Re:More brazen than the government? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522504)

Works?

Re:More brazen than the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523014)

No, the government is just a cover for a big monolithic entity that always works with single mindedness...

Sure he did... (3, Insightful)

PrimeNumber (136578) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521766)

Because two North American governments are major share holders [wikipedia.org] of this company, I am sure that tracking operations will immediately cease, because we all know governments hate doing shit like that.

Re:Sure he did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522046)

OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors Which is owned 27% by the U.S. government and 12% by the Canadian government

yup 12% == majority share

Re:Sure he did... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522168)

He said major, not majority. Yes a 12% stake in a company the size of GM is consider major.

Re:Sure he did... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522348)

Majority shares are controlling votes.

Of which 12% is most CERTAINLY a controlling vote.

Perhaps you should learn a bit about shares and stocks.

Re:Sure he did... (1)

gonzonista (790137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522532)

Perhaps you should. The combination of the two totals less 39%. This is less than the 50%+1 required to have controlling interest. That is not to say that the two governments don't have a strong influence. They certainly do. However, if the other shareholders are in alignment, the governments do not have a controlling vote.

Dear Schumer, meet the cell phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521768)

This is a headline, not news.

Most drivers already carry corporate-issued GPS units which leave the vehicle when they leave it.

Someone has not been paying their lobboying dues ! (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521818)

I love the outraged reactions of senators out for a cheap shot against a non-campaign-contributor, after having been so silent on so many more egregious cases.

RICO should apply ^^

Fleet Vehicles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37521838)

My 2005 Impala has no OnStar, but only because it was a fleet vehicle. If you buy a GM vehicle (and I wouldn't buy one made after 2005), find a fleet vehicle and it won't have OnStar installed, but at least in my case, all the other features you might want.

Re:Fleet Vehicles (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521898)

find a fleet vehicle and it won't have OnStar installed, but at least in my case, all the other features you might want.

Like 60,000 miles driven by someone who knew it wasn't their car?

Re:Fleet Vehicles (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522356)

60K miles is low. :) Last time I bought a cop car, I got one with 154K miles - and the lowest at the auction was like 85K miles. But cop cars are awesome because of the scheduled maintenance; there's no way I'd get any other fleet car.

Re:Fleet Vehicles (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522518)

60K miles is low. :) Last time I bought a cop car, I got one with 154K miles - and the lowest at the auction was like 85K miles. But cop cars are awesome because of the scheduled maintenance; there's no way I'd get any other fleet car.

+1...acutally, +2 (I've owned 2 cop cars). Both purchased at 200,000km. Cop cars have so many important longevity upgrades (thick suspension, aircraft hoses (green!), and are very well maintained. I sent one to pasture at 320,000km due to nasty rust in the trunk, and a VERY intermittent brake issue (happened twice)...the other is still going strong at 313,000km...almost no rust...solid car. I will scour the earth for another once this one is done.

Re:Fleet Vehicles (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522484)

find a fleet vehicle and it won't have OnStar installed, but at least in my case, all the other features you might want.

Like 60,000 miles driven by someone who knew it wasn't their car?

Hah...so true...but to tell you the truth, people aren't -that- reckless. As long as the maintenance is kept up-to-date, mid- and full-sized GMs usually last quite a while (I've owned 5, 3 of which easily went over 310,000km)

Re:Fleet Vehicles (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522462)

Off topic, but...why is 2005 your cutoff? (Electronic throttle?) Just curious...my cutoff seems to be 1996...

OTOH (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521872)

On the other hand maybe they can sell the data to the GPS companies and we can finally get some updated maps. There are roads around my area that had major routing changes three years ago that are still wrong on my Garmin.

Re:OTOH (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521968)

I literally live a block away from Garmin's headquarters and I can see their building from my front yard. The intersection in the opposite direction doesn't show up as well as many of the residential roads in the area. And, these were all built 25 years ago. Garmin licenses that information from a 3rd party from what I understand.

Re:OTOH (1)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522380)

This is the main reason I like Telenav / Sprint Navigation on my cell phone. The maps are periodically updated, and I don't have to get a windows computer, a cable that didn't come with the unit, and a yearly upgrade that costs 3/4 of the price of just buying a new unit to begin with. A Garmin recalculates a little faster, but my phone's not brand new and I don't make that many wrong turns anyway. :)

Re:OTOH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522562)

you do know you can get garmin on your smartphone right ? garmin mobile xt is running fine on both my wifes samsung innovate and on my nokia n8.

It is not me! (1)

used2win32 (531824) | more than 2 years ago | (#37521902)

If you cancel the OnStar service and later sell your car, they are tracking a vehicle you no longer own or drive and are gathering data that is not applicable to you.

Nice.

Now that is useless data.

Re:It is not me! (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522542)

If you cancel the OnStar service and later sell your car, they are tracking a vehicle you no longer own or drive and are gathering data that is not applicable to you.

Nice.

Now that is useless data.

So you think that any interested party won't have access to a VIN/Owner Name and address database?

Go back to sleep.

Senator Charles Schumer is correct (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522012)

If you cancel a service, they have zero rights to any information about you.

On-star has no more rights to the location of ex-customers than Texaco does.

Citizens should not be required to rip out the electronics to prevent a previous business partner from illegally spying on them.

In fact a good case can be made to legally require all corporations you cease doing business with to destroy all OLD records about you, with exceptions for records of transactions you engaged in. (see my blog entree from June [blogspot.com] for more information

Re:Senator Charles Schumer is correct (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522136)

What's really going to fuck with your head is when you realize that OnStar is *always* on, weather or not you have (ever had) a subscription. Just hit the button twice for an operator.

Re:Senator Charles Schumer is correct (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522556)

What's really going to fuck with your head is when you realize that OnStar is *always* on, weather or not you have (ever had) a subscription. Just hit the button twice for an operator.

Uhm...it's probably "always available" more than "always on". But I agree with you, it's likely that they've been collecting data all this time...it's only just now that they're us now.

Mixed feelings (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522124)

I own a 2003 GM vehicle and I know f that the previous owner upgraded the OnStar system when they changed over from analog to digital. I've often wondered about how this works and if they can still track the car. Even knowing they are, I'm not sure I really care. I guess on a theoretical level it's annoying, But I have too many other things to worry about to get worked up over this. Actually, I've wondered if there is some kind of liability for them if they are still tracking my car w/o their service. If I get in a wreck and even though I don't have their service, can they be held accountable if they are still tracking me and choose withhold assistance? Honestly I assumed that they wouldn't want to have this kind of liability.

Re:Mixed feelings (4, Interesting)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522566)

...Even knowing they are, I'm not sure I really care. I guess on a theoretical level it's annoying, But I have too many other things to worry about to get worked up over this....

Congratulations...you're apathy is deep enough to drown in. Not only that, but this is precisely why these companies a) do this, and b) get away with this.

That's a very interesting comment... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522202)

OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory.

Coming from someone who voted for the PATRIOT act...

-jcr

Is this really a problem? (1)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522262)

The car I drive has OnStar built in. After the first free year I simply unplugged the antenna for the GPS and the transmitter. Problem solved.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522300)

Hey asshole, you are mentally deficient if you think more than 5% of the population has any idea how to disconnect anything in their car beyong their seatbelt, let alone an integrated system like a GPS radio. Give your head a shake, then pull it out of your ass.

Re:Is this really a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522428)

That was the placebo antenna. There is another one transmitting you data as we speak.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522578)

How thick are your glasses? Just curious, because you are pretty myopic there...

Event Data Recorders (1)

E.I.A (2303368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522464)

How many realize that EDRs are installed in nearly all vehicles: "As of 2003, there were at least 40 million vehicles equipped with the devices."[wikipedia] That has more than risen since. I don't say they are the same, but essentially, every new vehicle carries a blackbox which can potentially be accessed by "others" without necessarily enduring a collision. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Event_data_recorder [wikimedia.org]

Translation... (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522598)

Nice service youse got there... It'd be a shame if anything bad should happen to it. It's a dangerous place, Detroit. Now, if I were you, and I'm just sayin' mind you, that a nice contribution to the folks that helped bail youse guys out might go a long way towards protectin' your service there.

And, don't think I'm showing bias or false equivalency because I'm picking on the Democrat here - the Republicans would do the same thing, but end up with twice as big a payoff, because they're "better" politicians.

In the final analysis, I hate being so cynical, but these bastards (even the ones most aligned with my political views) won't police themselves, so what choice do I have? (Well, other than voting, which I do, but...)

If Schumer is that concerned about privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37522638)

how about repealing HIPAA? There couldn't be a bigger government boondoggle than this monstrosity of a law, none of which concerns itself with privacy. Yes yes it shrouds your medical information from Aunt Tillie and Uncle Jake as well as the neighbors down the street. But the governments droid will have unfettered access to your personal medical history. Plus it costs the healthcare system in this country untold fortunes as hospitals alone employ hoards of workers who do nothing more than enforce this law.

Thank God for HIPAA . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37523018)

. . . and fuck you and all the Teabaggers like you.

Send them a bill! (2)

Dr_Ish (639005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522658)

The solution here is simple: Send OnStar a contract saying that you charge a fee of $10.00 per day for the information that they collect. Make the contract come into force after 30 days, if they do not respond to negotiate. Make sure the contract is sent registered mail to their registered agent in your state. Wait 30 days and send them a bill, again via registered mail. Wait a while longer and then file a claim in small claims court. I bet that would get their attention. My misses has OnStar on her car, which we do not use, so I will be doing this. Although IANAL, I am just a bastard!

I don't know what angers me more: (1)

Krashed (264119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522914)

People's cowardness, or their stupidity...

Wow, they are tracking people after they cancel they cancel the service. I couldn't be more furious. This is an outrage! Say... I wonder if people are even aware they everything they do is being tracked by somebody else, uploaded through the air freely with an encryption that may or may not yet have been broken and if if not, is being stored "securely" until another party wants to buy the harmless "sanitized" data. Damn guppies, cell phones are bad enough but now people are driving in a machine that is constantly spewing everything you do and see for the whole world to know, that is if they haven't already uploaded it themselves to Facebook or tweeted it to a bunch or people who really don't care about what they are doing except that one lone friend who isn't a real friend at all, or a person for that matter. Just another machine aggregating data for whomever has the money for these harmless bits of ones and zeros.

Who would want these strings of: (1)

Krashed (264119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522934)

011000110110110001100101011101100110010101110010 01100111011010010111001001101100 anyways?

An ex that wants to know what you've been up to, your grocery mega-mart so they can sell you want you don't know you need yet, that fellow on the phone with a funny accent (anyone smell vodka) who says he's from your credit card company and know's you're on vacation pumping gas in your pretty, new GM vehicle so he must be for real but is now asking your pin number so he can prove he's speaking to the right person, your dear old uncle Sam who just wants to check up on you, or your boss who swears that he saw you at the club but can't say anything because he shouldn't have been there either and while he now has proof of where you were, is driving the '12 model with newly activated service.
But hey, I'm outraged that they are going to track me only when I discontinue service. They shouldn't have told me this because now it's gonna take a senator or three, several committees, and many hours of CSPAN to make me feel better that they are only tracking me always, and only with my knowledge and permission. Poor poor guppies.

Forgot one word (1)

Krashed (264119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37522946)

IMPLICIT permission. guppies.

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