OnStar violates privacy, Record Car’s Use, Even if You Cancel Service image

A third Senate Democrat on Sunday questioned the decision of General Motors Co. to continue to collect data from drivers that have canceled OnStar service — unless they ask GM not to do so.

OnStar began e-mailing customers Monday about its update to the privacy policy, which grants OnStar the right to sell that GPS-derived data in an anonymized format.

OnStar already is considering providing data to highway authorities about how many vehicles travel on certain stretches of highway at certain times, to help in the handling of traffic, Iyer said.

“It’s on an anonymized basis. We wouldn’t include any type of personal information – just bulk information,” he said.

OnStar claims that the ongoing data connection could be used to help alert car drivers about severe weather, as well as any warranty or recall issues.

It also could be used by OnStar for “quality, research, or troubleshooting purposes,” or in a more generalized fashion:

“Any purpose, at any time, provided that following collection of such location and speed information identifiable to your Vehicle, it is shared only on an anonymized basis.”

OnStar installs cellular systems in vehicles which, if you pay for a service plan (starting at $18.95 a month), can give you driving directions, open the car doors if you lock yourself out, even track your car and alert local police if you are in an accident and your airbags inflate.