Reversing its earlier decision, OnStar has issued a press release confirming it will indeed alter its Terms and Conditions policy and "will not keep a data connection to customers' vehicles after the OnStar service is canceled." Says OnStar President Linda Marshall:

We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers. 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 six million customers.

Further, OnStar promises that it may allow customers to opt-in to such a data-tracking system in the future but will only use data in ways the customer approves. In addition to "[providing] former customers with urgent information about natural disasters and recalls affecting their vehicles", we imagine that also may include selling the information to law enforcement agencies and insurance companies.

The move comes after OnStar came under fire for tracking certain data streams related to your driving such as speed and location, even if the owner canceled the service. Feel free to read the complete press release after the break.
Show full PR text
OnStar Reverses Decision to Change Terms and Conditions
Will continue to protect customer and vehicle data privacy


DETROIT – OnStar announced today it is reversing its proposed Terms and Conditions policy changes and will not keep a data connection to customers' vehicles after the OnStar service is canceled.

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.

Maintaining the data connection would have allowed OnStar to provide former customers with urgent information about natural disasters and recalls affecting their vehicles even after canceling their service. It also would have helped in planning future services, Marshall said.

"We regret any confusion or concern we may have caused," Marshall said.

About OnStar

OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services and advanced information technology. Currently available on more than 40 MY 2011 GM models, OnStar soon will be available for installation on most other vehicles already on the road through local electronics retailers, including Best Buy. The OnStar Mobile App is a recipient of the 2011 Edison Award for Best New Product in the Remote Driving Aids segment and OnStar Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a recipient of the 2010 Edison Award for Best New Product in the Technology segment. OnStar safely connects its more than 6 million subscribers, in the U.S., Canada and China, in ways never thought possible. More information about OnStar can be found at www.onstar.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Justin
      • 3 Years Ago
      There's something to be said for less crap and more simplicity in cars. Or at least the choice for it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Dark Gnat
        • 3 Years Ago
        Good point. They actually announced it first as opposed to just doing it like many other companies do. They should get credit for that.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        Good points. Maybe this will shed some more light on what those other services are doing, and create more awareness. One can hope. I see this becoming more of an issue in the future once the novelty of much of this tech begins to wear off.
      TerryP
      • 3 Years Ago
      And we're supposed to believe them?
        adam512
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TerryP
        completely agree, I keep having this doubt onstar has some evil illuminati intentions
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TerryP
        If they get caught in a lie, then it will really hit the fan. Seeing as they are a business that needs to make a profit to survive, lying to its consumers would not be a very smart decision on their part.
      DrEvil
      • 3 Years Ago
      Stupid, greedy bastards. Someone had to tell you that this was wrong?
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      GM, I give you permission to track me all you want with Onstar. Have at it. I drive a Ford.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @johnb
        [blocked]
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @johnb
        ...And by doing that, you are basically giving Ford permission to do the same to you.
      Dark Gnat
      • 3 Years Ago
      That was honestly a much quicker reaction than I thought. Good for them. As for the "we imagine that also may include selling the information to law enforcement agencies and insurance companies" statement - sounds like doomsayers are at it again. Even if they did collect and "sell" the data to law enforcement agencies, what would those agencies actually be able to do with it. Sure, they can say "this Corvette was doing 150mph in an Interstate, but they still cannot prove who was driving it. That's assuming they would actually be able (or willing) to sort through millions of lines of info. More than likely, this would be used for large scale statistical data (traffic flow, congestion patterns etc.) to makes decisions as far as city planning goes (as an example).
        Nullify
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        They might not be able to tell who is driving the vehicle but unlike in other countries which requires the vehicles plate AND face have to be captured to issue a ticket. Not so in the US. Funny link of what happens when you don't...clever teens. http://www.autoblog.com/2008/12/24/teens-copying-enemies-license-plates-to-get-revenge-via-speed-c/
      montegod7ss
      • 3 Years Ago
      In other news, the CIA will take over monitoring of OnStar database, and no, you can't opt out of that one.
      Nullify
      • 3 Years Ago
      Other than completely removing the device or cutting power/antenna connected to the device you can never be sure it is not on and tracking. Just like when you power off a cellphone the carrier can turn the GPS tracking on or even record voice and video without your knowledge (called the roving bug). Link: http://www.naturalnews.com/021240.html Famous quote about corporations and why this won't just go away after all Knowledge is Power. "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war." --Pres. A. Lincoln
      You guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      They aren't going to *publicly* track you. I bet they still do. Its probably just going to be with the clandestine blessing of the Feds.
      caddy-v
      • 3 Years Ago
      Reading some of the comments, I can't help but think how illinformed so many can be. Ford's insync has or will have the same capabilities, Toyota's Enform is almost a carbon copy of OnStar as is BMWAssist, MB's Mbrace, and Hyundai's Bluelink. So does your cell phone, Ipass, and Garmin to some degree. Get over it. Big brother is here and there is'nt a damn thing you can do about it and maybe Uncle Barrack wants to know when you go to the tea party.
      TBA
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry, I'm from the UK...what is OnStar?
        WheelMcCoy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @TBA
        OnStar is more than a gps. If you left your keys inside and locked yourself out, it can unlock your car door (once you prove you are the owner). If you had an accident, OnStar will know it and call an ambulance. If you have a long drive and just want some company, OnStar will connect you to an operator so you can chat about anything, That's all great stuff. The controversy is that if you cancel the service, they still tracked you. Not so great. Just as "No" means "No", "Cancel" means "Cancel", not "kind of cancelled". Glad to read they fixed this.
      ls
      • 3 Years Ago
      I once lived in NY where they make you carry around a tracking transmitter. Because of that experience, I never consider OnStar equipped vehicles (VW/Audi once offered it in addition to GM). And I was especially insulted by their advertisements which insinuated I am so stupid that I lock myself out of my car and need their help to get in. OnStar, like run-flat tires, is a sales killer that needs to be optional.
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