Senator says that GM’s OnStar tracking system should be investigated

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 28, 2011

U.S. senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission should open an investigation on General Motors Co.'s OnStar vehicle navigation system, which continues to get information from customers who have canceled the service. Subscribers received an e-mail last week from OnStar, telling them that even if they have stopped using the service, the vehicles will continue to be tracked.

The e-mail stated that customers who terminated the service after Dec. 1 have to contact OnStar to prevent the company from getting data under the revised policy.

The letter that Schumer wrote to the agency's chairman Jon Leibowitz stated that the FTC has to investigate the OnStar policy to find out if it is considered as a practice that’s unfair or deceptive., according to Autonews. In a separate letter to the GM unit, Schumer asked that OnStar should scrap the changes. In a news release, Schumer said that OnStar’s move is “one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory.”

A separate letter was sent by the senator to OnStar to ask it to reconsider its customer-data policy change. On the Web site of the GM unit, OnStar may sell or share "anonymized" data, such as a vehicle's location, speed and safety-belt usage to third parties "for any purpose," under the revised policy. OnStar said that anonymized data doesn't indicate the particular vehicle and no names of individual customers are mentioned.

Topics: onstar, gm, united states

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