Monday, September 26, 2011
OnStar are tracking you even if you cancel your service.
If you've read my site in depth, you'll know I have a loathing for OnStar. It's GM's "spy in your car", or as they call it "convenience service". They market the service with low-brow terrorising adverts (what if you crash and you can't call for help?) and it's laughably easy to defeat either by electronic circumvention, or by less sophisticated social engineering (read The Art Of Deception - Kevin Mitnick's book - and you'll easily be able to drive off without someone else's OnStar-equipped car). GM can remotely start (and thus remotely disable) your car, and the remote circuitry is intertwined so deeply with the car's onboard systems that if you have brake-by-wire, they can slow the car down too. That in itself means the system is open for abuse by hackers (there's already been one high profile case of a similar system being remotely hacked in Germany, resulting in a life-threatening crash). The onboard mic is open all the time even if the in-car system says it's not (so you have no privacy) and now a change in their terms and conditions allows them to track your speed and location every time you drive, even if you cancel their service. There's hundreds of other reasons to hate this system but now they've sewn the seeds for 24/7 tracking, if you're in a GM vehicle, you're only a few short years away from them remotely governing your vehicle's maximum speed to force you not to drive too fast. Frankly, I'd rip the thing out of any car I owned. Although I'd never buy an OnStar-equipped car in the first place. OnStar tracking you even if you cancel your service