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Concerns over OnStar privacy and tracking seem to have quickly fizzled out.
The company, which uses GPS to track subscriber vehicles, had planned to change its Terms and Conditions on December 1. Built-in devices would continue to transmit information after cancellation unless drivers opted out.
The system would still collect location, speed, seat belt use, air bag deployment and odometer readings. This data could then be sold to third parties.
After a public uproar, including admonishment from Senator Charles Schumer, OnStar has backed down. Two-way transmission will automatically be turned off after cancellation, reports NPR. Users can also opt-in for continued monitoring at that time.
However, current subscriber data will still be tracked. OnStar also still reserves the right to sell this information, though it has not. A company spokesperson has also made clear that it will alert users should such a time come.
It's still unclear how OnStar would use this data. The company believes that it could be valuable for manufacturers and customers alike, according to NPR. Car companies could design better vehicles, and users could receive natural disaster alerts or recall and warranty notifications.
These reasons may seem a bit suspect. Recall and warranty information are sent to a car owner's home. Emergency alerts can be viewed on roadway signs, or heard on the radio or television.
If you are still concerned about OnStar privacy, the company's terms of service specifically state which types of data it collects. Read through the terms carefully and decide whether you have cause to be worried.