• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

GM's OnStar- what do you think?

mattadams

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
September 17, 1999
Messages
8,181
Reaction score
4
City, State
Longmont, CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
2017 Explorer Sport
Well I am all for smaller government (as a republican slowing converting to democrat) but I also think that if the governmetn has a tool to use to help keep the rest of law-abiders, without necessarily invading decent peoples privacy, then I am for it. I think its funny, after events like 9/11 people were all saying "Why didnt the government know about this? Why were they caught off guard" but at the same time the amount of red tape they'd have to go through, even if they suspected these individuals of planning such a terrorist event, to get a wiretap etc. would take months and by then they would have done whatever they intended to do already. Sometimes we need a government that acts like a government. Have reason to suspect someone? Start tapping their pones and find out if your suspicion is right.

I think the danger of someone IM'ing about blowing up the president is no different then someone waving around a gun in a mall with no intention to shoot it, they are both making a threat without intending to follow through, both should be punishable so if you happen to be talking with friends about how much you want to kill the president, and the wrong person hears you, I think you should get in trouble. The few people that knew about the Columbine attack prior to April 20th that fateful day did nothing thinking it was a joke, that they'd never actually do it. Maybe if we followed up on 100 threats and 1 of them turned out to be serious, then at least that one we'd say we prevented.

And just for the record, I'm also in favor of microchipping, so long as it is optional and not required by the government, but simply by those who want to protect their security... for example, no one could use my social security number unless I had a chip and had set it up that way.... But think of it this way, you could set your car to not start unless the microchip was within range. You could set it so no one without the microchips could use your credit cards or your identity, apply for loans, etc. The second its removed from your body, it becomes deactivated. Mark of the beast? Maybe, but the government has to do something, social security numbers can be had for just abotu anyone at any time and with just that information credits and lives can be ruined. We need to have something other than just a 9-digit number that can be found anywhere to identify people, maybe technology is the key.

FYI, if I had the financial ability to do so, I'd like to have a vehicle with a system such as this... especially for my mother or girlfriend who go on long drives and it makes me nervous what could happen...
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Gatorblazer

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 8, 2006
Messages
794
Reaction score
0
City, State
Moody, AL
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Explorer, 09 Mazda 5
I guess its time for us to dig our bunkers and get ready for the end of time. Come on, its a police surveillance deal not aimed at anyone but the target. To be a target, you have to have a history of illegal activity. They will not just take a random sample of your conversations. THAT would be illegal since they had NO probable cause to monitor you.
 




Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,749
Reaction score
1,464
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
Gatorblazer said:
I think you are all a little paranoid. If you do nothing that needs to be monitored, then no one is looking into you.


Is the system hack proof? If the FBI can listen who else can? People talk business in their vehicles. Should inside information be compromised because of a two way communications system which you can't control in the same way you control your cell phone?
 




Sherwood

Eric's LIL' Bigfoot
Joined
March 4, 2001
Messages
352
Reaction score
0
Just take a look at that group in Miami that planned on blowing up the Sears tower. How much wiretapping went on to catch that group? How much invasion of privacy went on to prevent this attack? Its funny that so many people complain of invasion of privacy after 9/11 dont say a word when a potential attack is averted. What if this same invasion of privacy was used pre-9/11?
Just like someone said earlier, if your not doing anything wrong, why worry. Just as long as they dont use these files to give to insurance companies or the DMV....etc, who cares?
Just like anyting else, there is a fine line that must not be crossed. And everybodys view of that line is different.
I heard someone say in the media about this very subject that he objected to wiretapping, he said,"Give me liberty or give me death." Well I say, "What good is your liberty, when your dead?"
 




Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,749
Reaction score
1,464
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

I would rather be dead then to lose my privacy and liberties. Thankfully Char and I won't be bringing any children into this "brave new world".
 




MountaineerGreen

Towing Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 2, 2006
Messages
7,500
Reaction score
31
City, State
North East Arkansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 F150 4x4
Sherwood said:
Just like someone said earlier, if your not doing anything wrong, why worry. Just as long as they dont use these files to give to insurance companies or the DMV....etc, who cares?

Just like anyting else, there is a fine line that must not be crossed. And everybodys view of that line is different.


My point is if your vehicle is collecting that data all the time, has the capability to listen in on your conversation, who is to say that they wont give the files to insurance or govt?

One legal loop hole and your insurance company sends you a letter saying you were driving 100 MPH on a certain date and time. Now they want to increase your rates or drop your coverage due to your unsafe driving practices. You call around and no other insurance company will even cover you because that information is on your file.

I believe that fine line can be moved quickly in today’s world, given the power of the FBI and Uncle Sam. Yes, I want to stop terrorists, but a mic and GPS in my vehicle won’t stop any terrorists whatsoever.
 




Sherwood

Eric's LIL' Bigfoot
Joined
March 4, 2001
Messages
352
Reaction score
0
Thats why I wont ever own a vehicle with onstar. But, do you realize how many cell phones out there are GPS enabled? I read somewhere that that is how they caught a criminal is tracking his cell phone. So, you can say no matter where or what you do. You can say that you can be watched somehow.
 








old mechanic

Explorer Addict
Joined
November 23, 2003
Messages
1,113
Reaction score
0
City, State
R.I.
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 xlt
I still say that it has its good points but its a shame that we cannot trust our own GOV, FBI, CIA and police departments. And it is way too much freekin power our Gov, Etc. alwready has. SAD! SAD! SAD! That our GOV, ETC, CANNOT be trusted! It will soon come to our Gov, Etc. against American citizens! They have way tooooo much power!
 




DCExplorer

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 28, 2004
Messages
147
Reaction score
1
City, State
Accokeek MD
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 EB
Even if you have nothing to hide I could still see where it could be a problem. Say a crime happened at a certain location. A quick check of the OnStar tracking shows your vehicle was in the area at the time of the crime. Boom!!! You've just become an instant suspect in a crime you had nothing to do with - better call your lawer.
 




MountaineerGreen

Towing Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 2, 2006
Messages
7,500
Reaction score
31
City, State
North East Arkansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 F150 4x4
I did a search and found no thread about this "feature" so I thought I would open a discussion. Feel free to delete if it is a useless topic. There is discussion about black boxes, but that isn't real time like this is.

I have had this thought for some time now, but OnStar is like big brother watching you. They can call an ambulance if your air bags are deployed. How do they know where you are to send an ambulance? GPS. They can unlock your car, search your PCM for trouble codes and possibly other things they haven't disclosed yet. If the information of your whereabouts was given to the wrong people, you could be blackmailed, fired from your job etc. They know how fast your going, which way your going and many other variables.

Am I the only one bothered by this? I don't want anyone to know all those things about me. Thats the beauty of owning an automobile, you can go when and where you want and get away from it all. Now someone can subpoena OnStar for your records and track you down. Or the records could be hacked. I'm sure they have a secure server and bla bla bla, but nothing is fully secure. I think its BS. I will never have a GM with OnStar.

What you you think? Am I being paranoid?

Bump for a slow night!
 




IAmTodd

4x Explorer Veteran
Joined
April 8, 2002
Messages
8,886
Reaction score
7
City, State
Johnstown, PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Jeep
I personally like the idea behind it. They're doing great things with it.

However, I can see it easily work the opposite way. And I do not like the thought of it. I would honestly not pay the money for it, however, would be a good thing for those with wifes.

I beieve the whole knowing where you are works off the E911 service that your cell phone does. Since its running off the Verizon network, I believe it uses their VZ Navigator for navigation. Not 100% sure on that stuff, but would make sense since its running off the same system.
 




Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,749
Reaction score
1,464
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
* In the Scott Peterson double murder case, police obtained a warrant to secretly place GPS transmitters on his three vehicles. GPS devices report the exact location of an object to a network of satellites constantly. While the devices were not OnStar units, this case clears the way for OnStar data to be used in California courts and possibly elsewhere.
* Information is circulating on the Internet that tells you how to get at your OnStar unit and download its databank. This information can also be used by anyone else.
* OnStar can be used to listen to all conversations within a vehicle, despite assertions by OnStar representatives to the contrary. A recent court decision has by the 9th Circuit Federal Appeals Court has declared this practice improper, but not for privacy reasons. The reasoning the Court relied upon was this: if the device is being used to spy on the occupants, it can't be used to make a call to emergency services. The Court sidestepped the entire privacy issue, and it is very likely that we will soon revisit this issue in Court.
* If you are involved in a traffic accident, information gathered about you with OnStar and similar devices may be used against you in Court by lawyers representing insurance companies. This could be something like the fact that you didn't use a seatbelt (which is your right and irrelevant to who is at fault in the accident) or the fact that you were speeding an hour ago. Just because you were speeding an hour ago doesn't make you any more or less at fault for the accident, but you can bet that insurance company lawyers don't look at things in this manner.
* Insurance companies may require that you permit them to examine your data as a condition of insurance. Refusal to provide data may result in a raise in rates or refusal of coverage. At this moment, Progressive is piloting a test program which gives drivers discounts on their insurance based on information obtained from a blackbox. While this program is voluntary now, it may not be later as history has proven that what starts as voluntary compliance for the good of onself, later becomes legislated regulation.
* Most new cars sold today include vehicle warranties. Data contained in your OnStar unit could be downloaded by anyone at the dealership. This data could later be used to deny warranty repairs on the grounds that you "abused" your vehicle. Remember speeding up to about 90 to get around the guy whose bumper looked like it was gonna fall off? While all of the dealers promise they'd never do this and it would be a violation of the privacy agreements, how do you really know that they'll keep their word?
* There are very few laws on the books that govern who may and may not gather information from your OnStar box, how or if they may use it or steps they must take to prevent other people from using or abusing your data without your knowledge or consent. Some states have taken the initiative and introduced laws to protect consumers to a degree. But most of these laws are easily circumvented, have no means for enforcement and/or do not do enough. And only a handful of states have these laws. There are no federal laws to protect your privacy and prevent abuse!

-----------------

* Make OnStar an optional feature available for an additional cost, not standard equipment. There should be an additional cost for the feature so that the cost of the feature is not included in the purchase price of the vehicle. Customers who don't want OnStar shouldn't have to pay for it.
* Include on the vehicle. information plaque a statement that the vehicle. has been equipped with OnStar, so that purchasers who buy the car used are aware of this fact. This plaque should not be merely a sticker, but something is permanent, for instance a stamped impression into the door metal.
* Provide simple instructions for locating, disabling and/or removing the OnStar module from its vehicles without cost to the consumer. If a kit would be required for the removal thereof, it should be provided for a nominal fee not to exceed $100.
* Buy back any vehicle. that has been equipped with OnStar unbeknownst to the purchaser, or take whatever steps are necessary to remove the device at no cost to the customer upon presentation of the vehicle. and a proof of purchase to any GM dealer.
* Make freely available a full, complete and detailed summary of exactly what information the OnStar service and any devices may compile about a customer, their vehicle's location, driving habits or other information as well as how and the conditions under which this information is collected.
 




Rick

Pumpkin Pilot
Staff member
Admin
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 8, 1999
Messages
32,749
Reaction score
1,464
City, State
Wayoutin, Aridzona
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XL Pumpkin Edition
Callsign
AB7FH
DETROIT--Imagine this: As your fuel gauge nears empty and you begin searching for a gas station, a computerized voice takes over your car's stereo speakers and says, "The BP station at the corner of Second Avenue and Main Street has gasoline that is $1.43 per gallon, 8 cents cheaper than any other station within 5 miles."

Sound fantastic? Executives at General Motors say they are preparing to debut exactly that kind of service as soon as this year.

GM's OnStar division will begin experimenting this year with location-based advertising beamed to vehicles through a cellular network, OnStar president Chet Huber said Monday during an interview with CNET News.com at the North American International Auto Show.

The service will be part of OnStar's "Virtual Adviser"--an automated, cellular-based concierge service that will be offered as an option on most GM vehicles starting in late January.

In addition to cheap gas alerts, drivers who indicate they want so-called push advertising could also become the target of other sales and marketing pitches. For example, Huber said, a golf store might send information about a sale to a golf aficionado whenever his car is within a 2-mile radius of the store. As the driver approaches the store, a computerized voice could override music on the stereo and say, "All golf bags are 50 percent off."

To receive the location-based, automated data, OnStar subscribers will first have to fill out a confidential questionnaire detailing exactly what kind of advertisements they want to receive. Subscribers may also enter their credit card information into an OnStar database so that they can purchase items directly from their vehicle and later stop at the store to pick up merchandise.

Huber emphasized that OnStar would not become a spam-happy advertising medium to target people while they're driving. Certain customers, for example, could indicate they only wish to receive updates on sales at Nordstrom, and in that case they wouldn't receive notices from any other retailers. Virtual Adviser subscribers may also opt to receive no advertising whatsoever.

Screaming at you?
"Most OnStar subscribers put a priority on the safety and security features--that's always going to be the most important part of OnStar," Huber said. "We want to be very, very careful as we broaden our brand position. We don't want this to become something like a talking billboard that is screaming at you from inside the car."

OnStar has not yet finalized deals with any third-party advertisers. But Huber said potential advertisers--ranging from online financial service providers to sporting goods retailers--have barraged OnStar with requests to advertise.

Virtual Adviser's first advertisements will be from financial service providers, including Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that will sponsor the service's stock updates. The four-second ads will debut with Virtual Adviser later this month. Just before the computerized voice gives the driver an update on selected stocks, the driver may hear, "This update is brought to you by Fidelity."

Experts say location-based push advertising is poised to become one of the hottest marketing trends of the next decade. Revenue from location-based wireless services in North America will increase more than 100-fold, from less than $30 million in 2000 to $3.9 billion by 2004, according to market researchers at The Strategis Group.

Although handheld computers and cellular phones are fertile ground for location-based ads, many say the automobile has much greater potential.

The market research-intensive automobile industry has already collected a wealth of data on customers, ranging from household income and educational status to mortgage applications and satellite TV preferences. If automakers share that data with third-party retailers, they could pinpoint advertisements and thrust them on a captive, targeted audience.

Letting advertisers subsidize the cost of onboard navigation and concierge systems is another advantage. Although navigation systems and onboard cellular services are relatively common in Japan, American customers have been far less willing to pay for the services. Huber said advertisers may eventually subsidize a fraction of the cost of OnStar, which ranges from $199 to $399 annually.

Automatic emergency calls
OnStar's Virtual Adviser service is conducted through a hands-free, voice-activated phone. The driver hears a computerized voice through the vehicle's stereo speakers, while a microphone embedded in the vehicle's headliner picks up the driver's commands.

Beginning later this month, Virtual Adviser customers will be able to hear numerous types of Web-based information, including updated stock prices, weather and sports scores. Customers must first select which information they want to hear by filling out an online questionnaire. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based General Magic provides the voice-activated user interface (VUI) for the Virtual Adviser's Web content.

Roughly 800,000 people subscribe to OnStar, and the GM division is expecting dramatic growth. Toyota features optional OnStar service in its luxury Lexus vehicles, and Honda will feature it as an option on its luxury Acura models beginning in the second quarter of 2001.

OnStar equipment is currently included in roughly one out of four GM vehicles, and about 5,000 new customers sign up for the service every day. It is offered as a standard or optional feature on all GM vehicles except for compact cars, such as the low-end Chevy Cavalier. OnStar debuted two and a half years ago as an option on Cadillac luxury sedans.

OnStar comes in two levels of service. The Safety and Security package, which costs $199 per year including all per-minute cellular charges, features a single emergency button that links to OnStar customer service representatives at call centers in Troy, Mich., and Charlotte, N.C.

Representatives can remotely open the car doors if a person is locked out, or conduct simple diagnostic research if the car stalls. The service also sends out an emergency call if the air bags deploy, in which case a representative will either confirm that the driver is safe or dispatch an emergency vehicle to the site.

"Premium" service costs $399 per year including all per-minute cellular charges and is only offered on Cadillacs. It includes all the Safety and Security features as well as routing assistance for 5 million points of interest in North America. A concierge service is also included, in which a call center representative will purchase tickets or make reservations at local entertainment events and restaurants.
 








churd69

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 12, 2005
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
0
City, State
Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
07 Silverado Z71
Wow, Onstar is scary stuff. Ill never own one with it. Most of what I suspected is in what Rick posted.

Come on now, people said the same thing about cell phones, but now everyone has one. If I'm not mistaken, the pcm in most new vehicles already store all the data of the vehicle, so the insurance company could probably get that information already if its part of your policy regardless of if your vehicle has onstar. My wife has onstar and it is great. If she gets a flat, runs out of gas, locks her keys in the car, i don't have to worry about how long it will take before myself or someone else can get there to help. Also she has been in an accident the police were able to get there faster due to onstars help. The advantages for me seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Are privacy is already being invaded as it is, but I would rather see people use technology to their advantages and fight when their privacy is invaded, rather then just not use the technology because of the possibility of an invasion of privacy.

-Rich
 




shamaal

Explorer Addict
Joined
April 25, 2005
Messages
1,248
Reaction score
5
City, State
Friensdwood, Texas
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 Mazda Navajo
IMO, the privacy concern is real.

Cadillac had something called Northstar in '79. EE Times broke the story that the system saved every time the vehicle exceeded the federally mandated 55mph speed limit and could be construed as abuse of the vehicle from a warranty standpoint. I doubt if things have gotten any better.

Consider the scenario of child kidnapping, everyone would agree, except liberals of course, that tracking them down through monitoring of a vehicles location would be a good thing; and that's how it starts. Here in Houston, 98% of the overpasses read a vehicles EZPass, the information is then sent to a central computer where time and distance calculations are done to determine speed of vehicle.

It will only take the right hot button issue and the ability to link the vehicle to a person will become a requirement. The Patriot act has already been used to convict a child pornographer who wrote dirty stories, no acts or pictures just written words and thoughts.
 




Top