Wednesday, September 21, 2011

OnStar Set to Start Tracking; Sharing More Data from Cars

General Motors and OnStar (the service that offers assistance if car trouble occurs) have come up with a new policy that utilizes technology created by OnStar. This new technology allows any car equipped with OnStar to send data back to the company. This would ultimately allow OnStar to share this data with credit card companies or even law enforcement. As an owner of the car you have to make it known to OnStar that you would not like them to collect data from your vehicle, however who knows if OnStar would even shut off the service. Potentially, the most interesting part of this technology is that no one is quite sure how much data OnStar could take from the vehicles and what exactly they would use it for.

I’m all for technological advancements in the automobile industry, however this technology just seems like a complete invasion of privacy. A driving destination is in a way a personal thing and I personally do not want companies to know where I’m going. I’m not saying I’m going anywhere where I should not be but it just doesn’t seem right that a car company has access to your every movement. The fact that they are in it with the authorities just makes it worse. Driving is a go with the flow type of action especially when it comes to the highway. If OnStar were going to use this technology to file whenever anyone has a driving violation this technology would be highly disliked.

I can see why this technology might be useful just to always be there to help and monitor the cars status. However, there is a fine line between taking data and in a way stalking. OnStar claims this technology would be anonymous however, they also say they will be involved with credit card companies and law enforcement. How could that be anonymous? I know at some point some person would be reprimanded due to this technology and that is not right. We are a free nation here in the United States and just the thought that people can monitor me every time I jump into a car makes me wonder where we will go next. Will the government say they will utilize this technology too in more forms than just cars? Could we see our lives become recorded by satellite? We are opening up some bad doors if we allow this technology to go into every car.

I understand car companies want to better monitor their vehicles to know how to create the “perfect” car. There has to be a different way to achieve that then using this technology. Car companies can hire people or even offer incentives to people who wouldn’t mind having this technology in their car but this technology should be mandated in every car. This is ultimately an invasion of privacy and OnStar has to show me the exact process they will be using this technology for before I change my mind on this. Driving is a private time and the thought that you always have eyes on you just is not right no matter what way OnStar wants to spin the use of this technology.

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