GM’s Onstar division has long raised privacy concerns among the professionally paranoid, but now it’s putting all that observational power into the hands of consumers, with a pilot program called “Family Link.” Described in GM’s presser as “a new optional service that will explore ways subscribers can stay connected to their loved ones,” the service includes
- Vehicle Locate: The subscriber can log on to the Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle’s exact location at any time.
- Vehicle Location Alert: Subscribers can set up email or text message notifications to let them know the location of their loved one’s vehicle. They can choose the day, time and frequency of the alerts.
But that’s not all: if the pilot proves that consumers are willing to pay for the right to surveil their loved ones,
Future considerations for the pilot include Speed Alert, Boundary Alert and Arrival/Departure Alert.
Forget Big Brother… with this system, you can be Big Daddy, in the center of your own little family-sized panopticon. From making sure the kids stay out of trouble (“Say, son, what were you doing in downtown Detroit last night?”) to checking up on your loving spouse (“Honey, why did you say you were going to the gym, when you just parked for an hour at the Slee-Zee Snooze Motel?”), it’s how today’s on-the-go families foster an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust. Because why let the government have all the voyeuristic fun?