General Motors-supported in-car connectivity and safety service OnStar has revised its terms and conditions, effective December 1st, and the new language has raised serious privacy concerns among customers.
At the heart of the issue are two points: first, OnStar by default will now keep the subscription-based service’s two-way cellular communications link open, even after a customer has cancelled the service, unless the cancelling party specifically requests the link be severed. Next, the language of the new terms and conditions allows OnStar to share or even sell the in-vehicle data–including speed and location, current odometer reading, seatbelt use and air-bag deployment–culled both from current users and former subscribers that fail to opt out to corporations, marketers and local governments. Said data, according to an OnStar spokesperson quoted by Wheels, “could be useful to municipalities, for example, trying to improve traffic flow or to first responders attempting to determine the severity of a crash before arriving at the scene.”
Besides the quite obvious privacy issues these new policies raise is the fact that, under a precedent set with cellular phones and GPS devices, law enforcement officials would have the ability to subpoena said data for prior customers whose data is still being recorded by the service.
Read more at MSN Autos Exhaust Notes.