General Motors ‘OnStar’ GPS-Navigation systems have been available in new vehicles for a number of years. Many of you already know what it is; that is, a mapping-tracking-emergency response system built into the vehicle. A big difference however between this GPS navigation-tracking system and an over-the-counter GPS that you might purchase separately or elsewhere is that ‘big brother’ is watching you while you drive with OnStar.
The emergency response aspect of OnStar is, and has been, life saving. I am not in any way disregarding the good that has come of it. However I am pointing out the potential abuse and encroachment on our free movements. For example, a recent report, GM’s OnStar now spying on your car for profit, illustrates how the power of today’s technological advancements while providing fantastic capabilities and conveniences, are continuing to further entrap and snare us into a system that knows our every move.
“Now, OnStar says that it has the right to collect and sell personal, yet supposedly anonymous information on your vehicle, including speed, location, seat belt usage and other information.” reports autoblog.com.
How do you feel about Government-General-Motors knowing where you’ve been, when you went there, the stops you made along the way, how fast you got there, how long you stayed, etc…? While the advantages of having an externally monitored GPS tracking system can be a very good thing if you’ve become snarled in an emergency situation and need help, the opportunity for abuse is immense.
Given the fact that profit is the obvious motivator, then one should not be surprised to discover that a system like OnStar would sell your data.
Think about this potential scenario… Could your insurance rates go up if they discover that you drive faster than the posted speed limit too often? Just saying…
Or maybe they notice that you frequent a particular type of store, which may result in targeted marketing junk mail, etc. Just saying…
It’s really not a whole lot different from you submitting your supermarket card when you buy groceries in order to get your ‘discount’. The reason you get a discount is because the information about the things that you buy are sold to others for targeted marketing. Again, sure, supposedly this data is anonymous, but to be honest, I don’t believe that in every case. Soon enough your health insurance rates may depend on the types of foods that you purchase, while at the same time one day you may not be able to purchase foods unless you submit your ‘card’. It’s not that far away. IMO.
While some may believe that these things will lead to a utopian world, where everything is balanced and perfectly fair, in reality it will be a world of slavery and ultimate control, one where you’ve been stripped of your liberties and freedoms.
In summary, I thought that this one example of OnStar selling your movements, may be another step towards that world.
Update: (I read the following statement on another blog…)
I’m a police officer. The On Star customer who canceled his subscription is not enough. As long as the device is in the car, it can be remotely turned on. They (On Star) can locate your car at any time and listen in on what you are saying in the car and you will have no idea the device has been activated. We the police, can simply present exigent circumstances not even reasonable suspicion, or probable cause to request this information.