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GM Cancels OnStar Policy That Tracks You Even After Cancellation


“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers."

Last week, we noted that OnStar would continue tracking and logging your travel data even after you cancelled the service. Today, GM -- which runs the service -- announced it is reversing that policy.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar President Linda Marshall said in a press release. “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.”

The release continued:

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.

The release also said that allowing tracking even after cancellation would have "allowed OnStar to provide former customers with urgent information about natural disasters and recalls affecting their vehicles" and "would have helped in planning future services."

But privacy advocates questioned the wisdom of making it a policy to allow a car company to track owners' moves even after cancellation. Jalopnik reports "at least three U.S. senators accusing the service of invading privacy," and that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was even asked to probe whether OnStar was violating federal privacy rules.

“We regret any confusion or concern we may have caused,” Marshall added at the end of the release.

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