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Supporting Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1

Privacy Statement
Effective as of December 2011
What updates did OnStar make to the Privacy Statement?
The following key changes were made to our January 2011 Privacy Statement:
• We have added more detailed information about the information we collect about you and about your Vehicle, including how we collect your information, what we do with it and how we share it. For example, unless the Data Connection in your Vehicle is deactivated, information about your Vehicle may continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan.
• In addition to other purposes set out in the prior version of the Privacy Statement, we may use the information we collect about you and your Vehicle to improve the quality of our Service and offerings and may share the information we collect with law enforcement or other public safety officials, credit card processors and/or third parties we contract with who conduct joint marketing initiatives with OnStar.
• Finally, we have added additional information about how OnStar safeguards your personal information.
Nothing is more important than the safety and security of you and your family. At OnStar, we apply that belief to every aspect of our business, including the protection of your personal information. You have a right to be confident your information is kept secure and to understand our privacy practices, specifically, what information we gather, with whom we share that information, how we use that information to make your driving experience safer and more convenient, and what we do to protect your information. We are committed to making your safety and the security of your information a priority.
This privacy statement applies to information we obtain about our U.S. customers and their cars or trucks (“Vehicle/s”) through a number of ways including: through any use of the emergency services, navigation services,
OnStar Hands-Free Calling and other services OnStar offers (“Service/s”), when there is an active two-way connection to the Vehicle (“Data Connection”), through our Web site, or any communications between us. We understand there may be others who use your Vehicle or your Service, and we want you to understand the importance of telling all occupants of your Vehicle (including other drivers and occupants who may be in the Vehicle without you) or those who use the Service or Data Connection about how their information may be collected, used, or disclosed by OnStar.
Unless the Data Connection to your Vehicle is deactivated, data about your Vehicle will continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan. It is important that you convey this to other drivers, occupants, or subsequent owners of your Vehicle. You may deactivate the Data Connection to your Vehicle at any time by contacting an OnStar Advisor.
If you purchase or enroll in additional Services such as OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, you should read this privacy statement alongside any specific privacy practices for those particular Services.
A. What Information does OnStar collect?
The information we collect about you includes:

• your contact information, (including your name, address, telephone number and email address);
• your billing information (including your credit card number);
• information about the purchase or lease of your Vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, year and date of purchase or lease and selling/preferred dealer; and
• other information that you voluntarily provide to us (such as your language preference, your license plate number and/or your emergency contact information).

The information we may collect from your Vehicle includes:
• information about your Vehicle’s operation, including such things as diagnostic trouble codes, oil life remaining, tire pressure, fuel economy and odometer readings;
• information about crashes involving your Vehicle, including the direction from which your Vehicle was hit, which air bags have deployed, and safety belt usage;
• information about your use of the Vehicle and its features, such as whether you have paired a mobile device with your Vehicle;
• information about when your Vehicle’s ignition is turned on or off and when your fuel is refilled; and

• in the limited circumstances listed below, the location and the approximate speed of your Vehicle based on the Global Positioning System (“GPS”) satellite network:
• when there is a request for Service (for example when you request driving directions);
• when there is an air bag deployment or automatic crash response (so we can inform emergency Service Providers);
• when there is a request for Stolen Vehicle Assistance (to assist law enforcement in the recovery of your Vehicle);
• when needed to protect the safety of you or others (for example, to locate a missing person);
• when needed by us or our Service Providers for our quality, research or troubleshooting purposes;
• as required by OnStar for the delivery of new or enhanced services that you have requested;
• as required by law; or
• for any purpose, at any time, provided that following collection of such location and speed information identifiable to your Vehicle, it is shared only on an anonymized basis.
If you use Hands-Free Calling minutes, we may obtain certain Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) such as call detail records, the number of minutes purchased, the date minutes were purchased, the number of remaining minutes, and their expiration date. We do not share CPNI information specific to you with third parties for their marketing purposes.
B. How does OnStar collect my information?
OnStar collects information about you and your Vehicle in several different ways, including:
• from what you, the maker of your Vehicle, its affiliates or any successor or assignee of a significant part of its business (your “Vehicle Maker”), our affiliates, and Vehicle dealers provide to us;
• from your use or purchase of OnStar Services;
• from correspondence between us;
from OnStar Web pages you visit;
from our wireless service providers, your satellite radio provider, third-party data providers, and any other person, company or entity who provides any Service or Equipment (“Service Providers”); and
• from your Vehicle itself when the OnStar hardware of software embedded in the Vehicle (“Equipment”) is enabled, or when there is a Data Connection (even if you do not have a Plan).

OnStar uses information about you and your Vehicle for a variety of purposes including:
• to provide Service to you, including checking and maintaining your Equipment;
• to manage or operate the Data Connection;
• to communicate with you about your account;
• for troubleshooting, analysis and research purposes;
• to enhance and improve the quality of our Service and offerings;
• as required by law;
• to protect the safety of you or others;
• to prevent fraud or misuse of the Service;
• to allow us, and our affiliates, your Vehicle Maker, and Vehicle dealers, to offer you new or additional products or services; and
• for other purposes provided the information is anonymized.
OnStar is able to provide a safer, more convenient driving experience by sharing selected information with selected parties.
A. We share selected information with the following third parties:
• roadside assistance providers;
• emergency Service Providers;
• law enforcement or other public safety officials;
• our wireless Service Providers;
• your satellite radio provider;
• credit card processors;
• data management companies; and
• others as may be required to provide Service, to manage or operate the Data Connection, to protect the safety of you or others, or as required by law.
B. We may also share information we collect about you or your Vehicle with the following (this does not include the sharing, other than on an anonymized basis, of the location or speed of your Vehicle, or your safety belt usage or credit card information):
your Vehicle Maker, to enable it to evaluate or research the safety, quality, usage and functionality of its vehicles, to contact you with important information about your Vehicle or for marketing purposes;
our affiliates, to enable them to provide Service or the Data Connection, to evaluate or research the safety, quality, usage and functionality of the Equipment, Service or Data Connection, to contact you with important information about your Vehicle, or for marketing purposes;
Vehicle dealers, to assist in servicing your Vehicle, or for marketing purposes;
your satellite radio provider and our wireless Service Providers, to enable them to contact you with important information about your satellite or wireless services or for marketing purposes;
third parties with whom we contract with to conduct joint marketing initiatives with OnStar;
your fleet company, if you drive a Vehicle that is part of a fleet;
your rental company, if you drive a rental Vehicle; and
any third party, provided the information is anonymized
Your Vehicle Maker may obtain information from your Vehicle independently from OnStar. Please refer to your owner’s manual and Vehicle Maker’s privacy statement for additional information.
There may be instances where we sell some or all of our business operations. To the extent that the business operation that is sold relates to the Equipment, Service or Data Connection, we may transfer your information as part of the transferred assets.
Does OnStar share or sell anonymized information?
Anonymized information is data that can no longer be identified as belonging to you or your Vehicle. We may share or sell anonymized data (including location, speed, and safety belt usage) with third parties for any purpose, which may prove useful for such things as research relating to public safety or traffic services.
We will comply with all laws regarding notifying you and obtaining your consent before we collect, use or share information about you or your Vehicle in any other way than has been described in this privacy statement.
If you would like to limit the permitted uses or disclosures of your personal information (other than those required or permitted by law), you may contact us to discuss your options or to obtain further information by pressing the blue OnStar button in your Vehicle, or by calling 1.888.4.ONSTAR (1.888.466.7827).
Can I choose my communication preferences?
We use a number of methods to contact you to tell you about Services and offerings that may be of interest to you. This includes postal mail, telephone calls and, if you have provided us with an email address, electronically. Because we recognize that you may not want to receive marketing messages from us and that you may prefer to be communicated to via one particular method, we offer you a choice as to how you would like us to communicate with you.
You can manage your communication preferences in a number of ways, by following specific opt-out instructions provided in the communication, or by contacting us.
Changing your communication preferences will only stop delivery of marketing-related communications. We may continue to send you important service or account related information via these channels. We may also send you important messages using the Equipment in your Vehicle to provide you with information regarding important Service or
account issues or to notify you about the cancellation of your Service or the deactivation of the Data Connection. You may choose not to receive these types of messages by contacting us as outlined above.
Supplemental Information for California Residents:
Your California Privacy Rights: California privacy law requires us to provide California residents with specific disclosures about our privacy practices, including telling you about the information we share with other third parties for their marketing purposes. You may request a copy of this information on an annual basis by contacting us.
Do I have access to my personal information?
We provide quick, convenient access to your personal information on our Web site or by phone. If you would like to access or ensure accuracy of your information, you can contact an OnStar Advisor from your Vehicle, call 1.888.4.ONSTAR, or visit our Web site at -
Can I obtain a copy of personal information about my account or my Service events?
You can request a copy of information relating to your account or Service event by calling 1.888.4.ONSTAR.
Where is my information processed or stored?
OnStar and its Service Providers may process and store information about you or your Vehicle in the United States, Canada, or other jurisdictions from which the Services or Data Connection will be provided and where the privacy laws may differ from those in the United States. Information may be available to government or its agencies in the country where the data is processed or stored under a lawful requirement in that country.
What does OnStar do to safeguard my information?
We recognize the importance of safeguarding personal information in our possession. To protect your information from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, destruction and theft, we have implemented and maintain a number of technical, administrative, and
physical safeguards. For example, sensitive information, such as credit or debit card information, is encrypted when transmitted between your computer and our Web site servers via the Internet.
If a third party Service Provider is used to provide the Data Connection or Services that require access to your personal information, we require that each party has appropriate security measures to maintain the safety of your information. We also require that your information is only accessible to authorized individuals and only for the purpose of providing the Service or Data Connection.
For certain Services, such as door unlocks, we will ask you for your Personal Identification Number (PIN) to help identify you (or other people you have authorized). We also require you to have a username and password in order to access your account through our Web site. You are responsible for keeping your PIN, username, and password secure and you should not disclose them to anyone (unless you wish to authorize them to access your account or Service and possibly incur charges on your account). It is important that you maintain the confidentiality regarding your PIN, username, and password at all times as we cannot be responsible for any unauthorized use of OnStar when the appropriate authentication has been provided. You may periodically wish to update or change your PIN, username, and/or password and can do so at any time.
We provide Service to you through wireless networks. Although it is illegal for unauthorized people to intercept your calls, such interceptions of wireless carriers can occur.
Does OnStar use “cookies” or other online tracking technologies?
We may use cookies and other tracking devices on our Web sites. Using cookies on our sites provides benefits to you, such as allowing you to maintain your account login information between visits, or locating a nearby dealer. The use of cookies also allows us to measure site activity to provide a better user experience. Cookies and other tracking devices may be used to tell us for example, the time and length of your visit, the pages you look
at on our site, the site you visited just before coming to ours, and the name of your Internet service provider.
We may use third parties to serve OnStar advertisements on other Web sites. In serving OnStar advertisements, these companies may use cookies and other tracking devices to collect certain information about your visits to other Web sites (such as browser type, IP address, which page was visited, and time of day). This information may be used to evaluate our online advertising campaigns or to tailor promotions and other marketing messages to you.
You may be able to change your preferences regarding your cookies. Please refer to your browser Help instructions to learn more about cookies and how to manage their use.
For answers to frequently asked questions about our privacy practices, please visit our Web site at - If you have a specific concern about the privacy of your account information, you can contact the Privacy Manager via email at [email protected]. You can also write OnStar’s Privacy Manager at OnStar Privacy Manager, P.O. Box 1027, Warren, Michigan, 48090-1027, or call us at 1.877.299.1372. Please include your contact information and a detailed description of your request or concern. If you are an existing subscriber, please also include your OnStar Account Number.
We may need to update this privacy statement from time to time as our business and Services expand, or if we are required to do so by law. If we do, we will post the most up-to-date version on our Web site so you should periodically check our Web site for any updates.
If we make any change which materially affects our privacy practices regarding the collection, use, or disclosure of your personal information, we will notify you by sending an email to the email address you have provided,
or, if you do not have an email address on file with us, by postal mail. We will also post a notice of the change on our Web site.

Supporting Super Moderator
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
From what I understand. OnStar is owned 27% by the U.S. government and 12% by the Canadian government.

Premium Member
6,255 Posts
My advice:

Write and complain to On$tar. Or, better yet, call them and CANCEL, and tell them to shut down the data connection, and tell them WHY.

Then, disable your OnStar.

2,495 Posts
Is there an easy disconnect for a Chevy Traverse...

Supporting Super Moderator
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Is there an easy disconnect for a Chevy Traverse...
You have to find the ONstar module.

I've got to find mine in my Malibu. I'm going to find it while Onstar is still active on my car. That way I can test it and see if they can communitcate with my car and this will assure that it is dead.

Supporting Super Moderator
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
My advice:

Write and complain to On$tar. Or, better yet, call them and CANCEL, and tell them to shut down the data connection, and tell them WHY.

Then, disable your OnStar.
I am going to cancel as soon as I have a chance to disable the module first to make sure it really is dead. Then they will know why when I call them.

Supporting Super Moderator
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
ONstar may be under investigation soon:

Senator charges GM's OnStar invades privacy

General Motors' OnStar in-car communications system violates privacy, a U.S. senator is charging.

An OnStar engineer demonstrates OnStar MyLink for mobile phone applications . Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac mobile apps powered by OnStar will allow owners to remotely activate all functions available on a traditional key fob,
CAPTIONBy Steve Fecht, Steve Fecht for OnStarOnStar, used by 6 million Americans, maintains its two-way connection with a customer even after the service is discontinued, while reserving the right to sell data from that connection, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, says that's a blatant invasion of privacy and is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. But OnStar says former customers can stop the two-way transmission, and no driving data of customers has been shared or sold.

"OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory," said Schumer, a Democrat.

But the General Motors OnStar service says customers are thoroughly informed of the new practice. If a customer says he or she doesn't want to have data collected after service is ended, OnStar disconnects the tracking.

And although OnStar reserves the right to share or sell data on customers' speed, location, use of seat belts and other practices, a spokesman says it hasn't done so and doesn't plan to.

"We apologize for creating any confusion about our terms and conditions," said Joanne Finnor, vice president of subscriber services. "We want to make sure we are as clear with our customers as possible, but it's apparent that we have failed to do this. ... We will continue to be open to their suggestions and concerns."

A week ago, OnStar changed its policy and began continuing the connection for ex-customers unless they asked for it to be discontinued:

Finnor noted keeping the two-communication active for former customers could someday allow for emergency messages to be sent even to ex-customers about severe weather or evacuations. The open line could also allow OnStar to alert drivers about warranty information or recalls, she said.

Schumer said he isn't persuaded. He said customers shouldn't have to "opt out" of the tracking after they end service. He accuses OnStar of actively deceiving customers.

Schumer is announcing the effort today by releasing a letter to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation.
OnStar charges about $199 a year for basic service and $299 a year for service that includes navigation aid.

Franken battles OnStar

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., told OnStar that it should not track the location of its customers, and sell information about them.

Franken, making a name for himself battling big companies, wrote a letter to the company after it recently said it may track vehicles with the OnStar service via its global positioning system equipment, even after customers cancel the service.

“OnStar’s actions appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness for OnStar’s approximately six million customers -- especially for those customers who have already ended their relationships with your company...” said a letter written by Franken and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. “We believe that OnStar’s actions underscore the urgent need for prompt congressional action to enact privacy laws that protect private, sensitive information like location. In the meantime, we believe that it is the responsibility of corporate citizens like OnStar to take every step possible to safeguard the privacy of their customers.”

OnStar, mostly on General Motors vehicles, provides navigation and communications services. One of its selling points is the technology can notify emergency services personnel if a vehicle has been in an accident, and provide them with the exact location. However, OnStar’s location service remains active even if the vehicle owner does not pay for the service.

One of the first experts to draw attention to the policy changes was Jonathan Zdziarski, senior forensic scientist at Via Forensics, who promptly canceled his OnStar subscription and blasted the new terms and conditions. He noted on his blog that the updates were “very unsettling” and “too shady.”

Making matters worse, claims that OnStar would normally make the GPS data anonymous before selling it are hard to swallow. “It’s impossible,” Zdziarski said. “If your vehicle is consistently parked at your home, driving down your driveway, or taking a left or right turn onto your street every single day, its pretty obvious that this is where you live!”

The potential for abuse is huge, he noted. OnStar could, for example, provide information on speeders or seat-belt usage to the police. Or insurance companies could use the data to monitor their customers and raise their rates.

“Shame on you, OnStar, for even giving yourselves the right to do this,” wrote Zdziarski. “Even more insulting, it was difficult to ensure the data connection was shut down after canceling,” he noted, saying the company repeatedly ignored his request to shut down the connection.

OnStar and other “large abusive data warehousing companies desperately need to be investigated,” he concluded. “When will our congress pass legislation that stops the American people’s privacy from being raped by large data warehousing interests?

Supporting Super Moderator
5,668 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Anyone have an update on the Senatorial involvement?

That looks like the win right there.
I'm assuming that it was dropped when onstar decided not to monitor and sell info from non customers. I guess it is OK to do so if you are a customer.

Premium Member
6,255 Posts
I'm assuming that it was dropped when onstar decided not to monitor and sell info from non customers. I guess it is OK to do so if you are a customer.
...and it's OK for me to post the writeup on how to kill their data thieving.

720 Posts

15 Posts
I already looked up the disconnect walkthrough here and disconnected my antennas.
What a bunch of BS. I don't believe them for a second that they won't furnish my data to big brother. No data, No problem.
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