PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – OnStar knows where you are if it is installed in your car. However, it turns out the device can still pinpoint your location, even when the service is cancelled. The company says it reserves the right to sell that data and that is ruffling feathers all the way to Capitol Hill.
Your car’s location, how fast you drive, even whether you use your seatbelt; it could all be up for grabs to paying companies even if you stop paying your OnStar bill.
“I think OnStar’s actions violate basic principles of privacy and fairness,” said Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.
Senator Coons and other lawmakers are now calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.
“Even though they say they’re going to anonymize that data, it’s pretty hard to protect someone’s privacy, their identity, when what you’re tracking is where they stop overnight, where they stop in the morning, where they stop in the middle of the day,” Senator Coons said. “It is very easy to figure out where someone’s home, school, and work are from that data.”
OnStar says drivers can call to opt out of the location tracking. However, Senator Coons said that is not good enough.
“I think all systems that automatically track your location and reserve your right to sell that information to third parties ought to be opt-in systems where they’re only tracking you with your knowledge and permission — not the reverse.”
Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060