Big Brother is My Co-Pilot

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
big brother is my co pilot

First, it was the OBD-II black box that records your speed just before an accident. Then it was GPS systems in rental cars keeping track of where you drive and how fast you drive there. Now the finance and insurance companies want their piece of the privacy intrusion business. According to the Detroit News, GMAC Financial Services' insurance unit is asking drivers with OnStar-equipped cars to l et them track how many miles they drive, dangling the carrot of lowered insurance rates in front of them. OnStar president Chet Huber says data on when or where the car is driven wouldn't go to the insurer. (Yet.) The article makes no mention of whether or not OnStar would share driver information with any local, state or federal agencies and, if so, under what circumstances.

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  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Jul 17, 2007

    Radimus, OnStar could perhaps send a signal indicating which airbags are shut off; if the passenger seat airbag were active, that would indicate two people. As for knowing the second person was also a woman, that's easy: if the second person were a man, they wouldn't have called to ask for directions! :-)

  • Andy D Andy D on Jul 17, 2007

    Luther: July 17th, 2007 at 3:00 pm That 1981 MB 300D is looking better all the time….... X3,My stable is all 88 vintage. 2 528es, and a Grand Wagoneer.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jul 18, 2007
    SunnyvaleCA: "As for knowing the second person was also a woman, that’s easy: if the second person were a man, they wouldn’t have called to ask for directions! :-) " Thanks for the LOL! If I were (somehow) to have a vehicle with "OnStar", I would do my best to make it "OffStar", by disconnecting the offending antenna.
  • Neil Neil on Jul 18, 2007

    OnStar likes this because it is guaranteed business. "Now you can completely offset the cost of OnStar with an insurance adjustment." I wish people would read the privacy agreements that OnStar provides instead of guessing about what they can do. OnStar is quite strict about what information (and under what circumstances) it can share. Let's face it. We are all paranoid about what we don't know about when the system can be used without our knowledge. I read this and expect to find that my rates can go up if I drive a long distance. There is no mention of rate increases...but why not? Is this a case where there is no flip side? Or is the insurance company just that hungry for new actuarial tables that can integrate mileage?