Is OnStar Going Too Far?
GM's OnStar system is a regular little Yenta. It already helps owners decide where to go, tells them how to get there, remotely unlocks doors for forgetful PGA golfers, runs remote diagnostics on the car (and emails the results), summons first responders in an accident, helps police track the vehicle if it's stolen and finds you a nice Jewish girl to marry (well, almost). If that wasn't
intrusive helpful enough, The AP (via the Miami Herald) reports the next step in OnStar's eNannyism: Robocopping car thieves. First, they'll advise the miscreant that the police are watching. If the crook isn't prone to paranoia (do you hear voices?), OnStar's helpful representative will cut engine power until the vehicle slows to a stop– provided police deem it safe to do so. OnStar says owners can opt out of the engine kill switch program, but also claim 95 percent of their subscribers are down with it. Yes but– I doubt they raised the possibility that the technology could also be used as a speed limiter. Anyway, it's only a matter of time before plans for an OnStar jamming device hits the web.