Monday, April 15, 2024

GM Stops Sharing Driver Data With Brokers

Jonathan M. Gitlin (Hacker News):

After public outcry, General Motors has decided to stop sharing driving data from its connected cars with data brokers. Last week, news broke that customers enrolled in GM's OnStar Smart Driver app have had their data shared with LexisNexis and Verisk.

Those data brokers in turn shared the information with insurance companies, resulting in some drivers finding it much harder or more expensive to obtain insurance. To make matters much worse, customers allege they never signed up for OnStar Smart Driver in the first place, claiming the choice was made for them by salespeople during the car-buying process.

Karl Bode:

The absolute bare minimum you could could expect from the auto industry here is that they’re doing this in a way that’s clear to car owners. But of course they aren’t; they’re burying “consent” deep in the mire of some hundred-page end user agreement nobody reads, usually not related to the car purchase itself but the apps consumers now use to manage roadside assistance and other programs.

So not surprisingly, GM was subsequently sued. And now the company finds itself on an apology tour[…]


Update (2024-04-24): Jude Karabus (via Hacker News):

Two New Jersey drivers claim they now pay more for their car insurance because General Motors (GM) and its OnStar app snooped on their driving behavior without their consent and sent metrics to “various insurance carriers.”

As the lawsuit [PDF], filed in Georgia on Friday, concedes, some vehicle purchasers do knowingly consent to having their personal driving habits and behavior monitored and handed on to third parties when they agree “to specific safe driving programs … and to installing dongles in their vehicles.” But the plaintiffs claim they agreed to no such thing.

Update (2024-04-30): Kashmir Hill (via Bruce Schneier):

Automakers have been selling data about the driving behavior of millions of people to the insurance industry. In the case of General Motors, affected drivers weren’t informed, and the tracking led insurance companies to charge some of them more for premiums. I’m the reporter who broke the story. I recently discovered that I’m among the drivers who was spied on.

Update (2024-05-01): Ron Wyden (via Hacker News):

The letter comes in response to an inquiry by Sen. Wyden’s office, which asked the association representing automakers how their members respond to law enforcement requests for location information collected from internet-connected cars and trucks. He found that only five — GM, Ford, Honda, Stellantis and Tesla — require a warrant to provide location data to law-enforcement. And only Tesla notifies auto owners about government demands.

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