On Star and Black Box - Tracking concerns
1) OnStar changed its policy in 2011. (Article: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011...le-some-users/). Media and congressional inquiry pressures eventually caused OnStar to reverse the change, but it's still a dangerously large (for the consumer) gray area.
Originally Posted by stchman
2) How so? Well you read what they wanted you to read. I read the fine print in OnStar's privacy FAQ (located HERE: https://www.onstar.com/web/portal/privacy#Track)
Does OnStar track the location or speed of my car? The simple answer is no. OnStar does not continuously track the location or speed of your car. OnStar only knows this information when:
- there is a request for service initiated from within the car (when you press an OnStar button to speak with an advisor);
- there is a request for Stolen Vehicle Assistance or to locate a missing person;
- there is an Air Bag Deployment;
- there is an Automatic Crash Response;
- required by law;
- required to protect our rights or property or the safety of you or others;
- required by us for research or troubleshooting purposes; or
- required for the delivery by OnStar of new or enhanced services that you have requested.
So even if I don't request OnStar to track my speed/location/other information, if the air bags deploy they are informed of it. Or, if Johnny Law asks them to track it -- they will. Or if they feel they must track my vehicle to protect THEIR (OnStar's) rights ... they will. Or if they feel they need to track me for 'research' purposes (or maybe I'm part of a random sample) -- they will. Or if they are troubleshooting they might track me (deliberately or, again, as part of a random sample).
There are WAY too many gray areas in that -- where information about me (location) or my vehicle can be tracked by that device/service without my express authorization. I'm a law abiding citizen and have nothing to hide ... but that doesn't mean I shouldn't protect my privacy. I happen to work in information/computer security, so I have a very good idea of what can be done with the information once obtained ... and also how it might be shared, dispersed, hacked, and/or used against me (even in seemingly unmalicious ways -- consider an insurance company that sees that I had an airbag deployment at 56mph and notes in the accident report it was a 55mph zone -- perhaps they might 'do their job' and try to deny the claim?).
Better safe than sorry. There is no black box in my truck, anymore...