The Wall Street Journal reports that GM's information policy will allow it to unilaterally track any car with OnStar; even if the OnStar service is turned off. Only mechanically disengaging the system will protect owners from having their driving habits tracked. Things like speed, braking, routes and destinations, times, etc.
This is a joint effort between GM, the U.S. government, and Google. You couldn't make this kind of stuff up.
Pretty scary from an information privacy standpoint. The information can be shared with the government, insurance companies
, law enforcement, and any "third parties." etc. When is this "Big Brother" trend going to stop?
The WSJ article link: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/09/21/onstar-set-to-start-tracking...
GM OnStar / Information Policy Excerpt:
Effective as of December 2011
"What updates did OnStar make to the Privacy Statement?
The following key changes were made to our January 2011 Privacy Statement:
• We have added more detailed information about the information we collect about you and about your Vehicle, including how we collect your information, what we do with it and how we share it. For example, unless the Data Connection in your Vehicle is deactivated, information about your Vehicle may continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan.
• In addition to other purposes set out in the prior version of the Privacy Statement, 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."
From e-How.com: How to Disable Onstar
OnStar offers services such as emergency crash response, navigation, hands-free calling and stolen vehicle recovery assistance. While OnStar is a built-in featurefor some vehicles, there is a monitoring fee for the services offered. Even after the service has been discontinued, OnStar is still able to track your vehicle's location through a Global Positioning System (GPS). If you are uncomfortable with the tracking of your vehicle by OnStar, you can disable the GPS completely. Some people choose this option to maintain privacy while driving.
- 1 Open your trunk and lift up the trunk liner that covers the spare tire inset. There may be a wingnut that you will need to turn to remove the tire and cover. If so, twist it counter-clockwise and remove it.
2 Unscrew the trunk's still plate (where the tire sits) by unscrewing the cargo net holders. The cargo net holders are located at the four corners of the trunk. If you do not have a cargo net, there will still be some sort of screw to remove the plate. Look for screws at the corners and sides of the trunk.
3 Lift the still plate and set it aside. Grab the top of the right side of the interior trunk shell (the carpeted lining) and pull it back to access the device attached to the inside of the trunk.
4 Unplug the three cords connected to the OnStar "box" that is mounted on the inside panel of the trunk. It is a metal box and will usually have a label on it that says "OnStar."
5 Replace your shell, still plate, spare tire and the cover for the spare tire. Your OnStar system is now disabled and your privacy is restored. Keep this information handy in case you need to reactivate the system or sell the vehicle.