Security Experts:

OnStar Reverses Policy on Tracking Former Subscribers

Following customer outrage and privacy concerns over a policy to continue tracking drivers with GPS technology even after they have cancelled service, OnStar today said it has reversed its proposed policy changes and won’t be keeping a data connection to customers’ vehicles after the OnStar service is canceled.

The policy drew significant criticism, and sparked Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, to send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting it launch an investigation into OnStar. Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) sent letters to OnStar criticizing the company for its decision.

OnStar recently sent e-mails to customers telling them that effective Dec. 1, their service would change so that data from a customer vehicle would continue to be transmitted to OnStar after service was canceled – unless the customer asked for it to be shut off.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar President Linda Marshall said. “This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers.”

If OnStar ever offers the option of a data connection after cancellation, it would only be when a customer opted-in, Marshall said. And then OnStar would honor customers’ preferences about how data from that connection is treated.

“We regret any confusion or concern we may have caused,” Marshall added.

view counter
For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.