September 28, 2011
OnStar Changes Policy After Privacy Concerns
OnStar automobile communications service said Tuesday that it is changing its policy after privacy issues were raised about the company collecting data on driving habits of former customers.
The service said it will no longer maintain its two-way connection with a customer even after the service is disconnected.
"We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers," OnStar President Linda Marshall said. "We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust for our more than 6 million customers."
"We regret any confusion or concern we may have caused," she said.
The service originally changed its privacy statement that allowed OnStar to sell or distribute customer personal information and collected data.
The policy change would have allowed OnStar to reserve the right to share information with credit card processors, law enforcement and others.
It also said OnStar reserved the right to maintain a connection to a customer's vehicle even despite the service being cut-off.
Democratic Senator Charles Schumer protested the change on Sunday, and called the practice “one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory.”
OnStar's new policy enables former customers to choose to stay connected, but will not require customers to opt out of the data collection system once they drop the service.
The company also made it clear that it has not sold or shared any of the data it has collected with other companies and it does not plan to do so.
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