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Old 09-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Report: OnStar allegedly spying on customers, can sell customers’ GPS location to thi


Quote:
OnStar is the buy word when it comes interfacing automobiles with peoples lives for convenience and safety purposes. It’s no doubt that they’re doing well to help provide roadside services for customers as they’ve just expanded their offerings to those who don’t have GM automobiles, which come standard with it.

And because it is a consumer service that requires heavy research and data collecting to help it cater more to the interests of the customers, a lot of personal information is shared with OnStar. That said, such mediums where personal information is shared require extensive “terms and conditions” and “privacy statements” that are so long that you’d think Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace was just a pamphlet. So most customers just sign away or hit “Agree” without even reading the fine print. For all they know, they could become an experiment to the company like Kyle Broflovski did in South Park’s The Human CentiPad episode.

Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But either way, an independent blogger expended his time for the benefit of ours, by saving us the boring read and pointing out some troubling issues with OnStar’s “Privacy Policy Terms & Conditions.” What a kind chap he is.

In his so-called “drool session,” he alleged that OnStar’s latest “terms and conditions” said that they reserve the right to use the GPS, seatbelt usage, speed and other information obtained by the customers’ integrated data connection service on OnStar equipped cars. Then, they could sell that information to third parties, including law enforcement. So this is shaping up to be similar to when Facebook said that they own everything a user uploads to the profile and could monetarily exploit the information.

To see for myself, the blogger also kindly provided a reference link that is a PDF version of the new OnStar T&C. And one of the first things I read was: “we may use the information we collect about you and your Vehicle to improve the quality of our Service and offerings and may share the information we collect with law enforcement or other public safety officials, credit card processors and/or third parties we contract with who conduct joint marketing initiatives with OnStar.”

After reading the above quote, I realized that this blogger may have some concerning points, ones that could once again begin to deteriorate GM’s shiny new slate. So instead of me paraphrasing his entire argument, check it out in the link to read his full findings.

Check out the Jonathan Zdziarski’s post here.
http://www.egmcartech.com/2011/09/21...8egmCarTech%29
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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This is somewhat disturbing. On the other hand, if one wants to get all tin-foily, just about everyone carries around a GPS-enabled smartphone. The authorities can get access to those tracking logs about as easily, I bet…
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shikataganai View Post
This is somewhat disturbing. On the other hand, if one wants to get all tin-foily, just about everyone carries around a GPS-enabled smartphone. The authorities can get access to those tracking logs about as easily, I bet…
Or even to get more disturbing.... photos taken with an iphone will embed the GPS co-ords of the photo at the time it was taken in the EXIF data.

Take a pic of a buddys house with that nice new TV in the background? Some third party that gets access to the picture now knows where it is.

Or a picture of your kid in your house eating the spaghetti?

--kC
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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I strip my EXIF data before posting on the web, thanks. Yeah, that is a potential issue, though. (Does make for nice maps of "where I've been" when making photo books in iPhoto, though, and the thoughtless masses probably care more about that functionality.)
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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Why is everyone so concerned with "authorities finding them"? LOL Freakin criminal minded folks i swear lol jk
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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Because government putting those mechanisms into place is worrisome, and against the federalist principles of a limited government that answers to the people. Trends like this are another counterweight to reverse that, to enforce people to be answerable to an unaccountable government.

When you cannot ascribe honorable motives to the government, they can prosecute anyone they feel like.

History is replete with tyrants building infrastructure to enforce more power on their people, not that the people were criminals, but the tyrants were/are criminal.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #7
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Icentipadcar
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
Because government putting those mechanisms into place is worrisome, and against the federalist principles of a limited government that answers to the people. Trends like this are another counterweight to reverse that, to enforce people to be answerable to an unaccountable government.

When you cannot ascribe honorable motives to the government, they can prosecute anyone they feel like.

History is replete with tyrants building infrastructure to enforce more power on their people, not that the people were criminals, but the tyrants were/are criminal.
You say that in response to corporations doing it
GM is a corporation, apple is a corporation. The government can just ask the corporations as evidenced in the past. If you care about privacy then start worrying about the corporate end. They collect the data and are happy to share.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:09 PM   #9
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I have a choice not to patronize a corporation, and have said that I won't buy a GM/OwnStar car.

But GM has federal government ties, since it's bail-out, and we can't just patronize a different government, unless we want to move to some other country... and other countries don't have as much restriction on the government as the US constitution puts on our federal government... the problem is, that the government ignores it's own rules, and puts ever more rules on it's citizens.

A company that doesn't have government ties can tell the government to go pound sand into a subpoena, which requires due process.

A company that has taken billions in tax-dollars is now indebted. Borrowers are enslaved to debtors, voluntarily or not. GM knows what strings are attached to it's 2008 bail-out, and it's continuing subsidy, and it's union's ties to the government, as well.

OnStar is part of GM, and thus also under the federal government's thumb, which has been unconstitutional since the day the politicians on both sides of the aisle bailed them out. The banks are tied in, too, and have been for much longer, due to the FED.

There isn't a clear protected border between government and corporations.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:13 AM   #10
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Um where are you going to buy a car besides a corporation?
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #11
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Hip...sometimes you scare me. You have the choice and it seems you have made yours. I agree, why make it easy to be tracked. But, I don't think there is any information source the government can't tie into, when it wants, since 9/11. It is just one of the many loses in the "war on Terror". You just have to live with it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:51 PM   #12
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That doesn't mean I have to condone it, or agree with it, or dismiss my opinion of it.

And I am not going to commit suicide over it, so "live with it" is kind of a given.

More and more, used cars are looking more attractive, and new cars less and less so.

I'd rather spend 30K on a 8-10 year old Porsche than a brand new 30K car, at this point.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:13 PM   #13
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well, only idiots buy cars from GM in the first place.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:34 PM   #14
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I avoid worrying about being spied on by being very dull and uninteresting.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:55 AM   #15
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Bump for Congressional sniffing about.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...20111373.shtml
Quote:
(AP) ALBANY, N.Y. — 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."


A week ago, OnStar changed its policy and began continuing the connection for ex-customers unless they asked for it to be discontinued.
Finnor noted keeping the two-communication active for former customers could someday allow for emergency messages to be sent even to ex-customers about severe weather or evacuations. The open line could also allow OnStar to alert drivers about warranty information or recalls, she said.


Schumer said he isn't persuaded. He said customers shouldn't have to "opt out" of the tracking after they end service. He accuses OnStar of actively deceiving customers.


Schumer is announcing the effort Sunday by releasing a letter to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation.


OnStar charges about $199 a year for basic service and $299 a year for service that includes navigation aid.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:50 AM   #16
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Nice. The old "well if you dont want us to collect private information about you, please send us a written letter indicating so, and if we dont lose it we might follow through" excuse.

What about those people that just rent a car that so happens to have OnStar? Are they supposed to send in a letter weeks before they even know they have to rent such car?
Ive rented GM and Hyundai cars and all of them have had OnStar.

Side note: Onstar button is badly located. Every time I flip the rear view mirror so I dont get blinded by the car behind me I end up pushing the damn button
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:49 PM   #17
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If they don't plan on selling the data then take that out of the T&C. I actually have little problem with the notion of them collecting data if they don't sell it, and they anonymize it for use. It would help make better cars.
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