GM’s OnStar One Step Closer to Becoming Big Brother
Technology can hurt a driver as much as it can help him. For example, those convenient automated toll systems (i.e. EZ Pass, FasTrak, SunPass, etc.) can also use their time/distance data to figure out if you were speeding. GM may be hitting even closer to home with a new OnStar feature. Right now General Motors will use OnStar to pass on information to their GMAC Insurance arm about your annual driving mileage for possible insurance discounts.
This is purely voluntary program, and GM assures that the data will go no further than annual mileage. But how soon before they want data on speed or acceleration, all disguised under the cloak of lower insurance premiums?
The same side of me who wants to build a bomb shelter in my tool shed is also having trouble with this new OnStar service. After all, Ford is developing cars that talk to each other, GM is putting money into cars that drive themselves, and now your car wants to tattle on your driving habits. Big Brother is no longer trying to get in the passenger seat; it’s trying to drive!
I think it’s too late for me; I’ve already given in to sat nav and climate control. At least for now GM is doing no evil, and instead letting you save some additional cash on car insurance if you drive less then 15k miles a year. Besides, Big Brother technology is nothing new in cars. For almost a decade GM and other manufactures have been installing a “black box” like device that records driver stats, but your car has kept the secret to itself …so far.