GM ends OnStar data sharing after public outcry

Consumer outrage led General Motors stop sharing connected car data with brokers.

“Starting March 20, OnStar Smart Driver customer data it is no longer shared with LexisNexis or Verisk,” GM told Ars Technica on Friday (March 22). “Customer trust is our priority and we are actively evaluating our processes and privacy policies.”

The decision follows a recent New York Times report that found members of GM’s OnStar Smart Driver app had their data shared with LexisNexis and Verisk.

“When accessing this data undoubtedly improved overall driving experience, from improved safety and better traffic management to increased payment efficiency and customized entertainment options, automakers’ practice of sharing driving data with third parties, especially insurance companies, has fueled contentious debate,” PYMNTS wrote after the Times report. Moon.

While data purveyors argue that personalized insurance premiums based on driving behavior could incentivize safer practices and lead to lower rates, skeptics worry about the potential misuse and abuse of this data.

Among them is driver Kenn Dahl, who was shocked by a report from LexisNexis detailing every aspect of his driving habits over several months, including every time he braked hard or accelerated hard.

“Beyond personal privacy concerns, there are broader societal implications at play,” PYMNTS wrote. “Data collected by insurance companies could be used not only to assess risk, but also to make large-scale judgments about individuals’ lifestyles and behaviors, which would disproportionately affect certain demographic groups.”

The news comes at a time when the practices of data brokers are gaining attention from the federal government, e.g. Dream. Edward Markey, D-Mass., last month urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the “invasive” privacy practices of automakers.

“With new advances in vehicle technology and services, automakers are siphoning off vast amounts of data about drivers, passengers and even individuals outside the vehicle,” Markey wrote in a letter to the FTC chairman. Lina Khan.

Also last month, Office for Financial Protection of Consumers (CFPB) said it will propose rules this year to restrict data brokers, including those who sell personal data customers abroad, by White House executive order.

“Corporate data brokers are collecting and selling extremely sensitive data about all of us, including US military personnel, to foreign buyers,” CFPB Direct’s Rohit Chopra said.

“The executive order calls on the CFPB to use its statutory authority to provide greater protections,” Chopra added. “This year, we will propose new rules that will crack down on these abuses, that will protect families and our national security.”

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