Franken Fights Continued OnStar Tracking

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., told OnStar that it should not track the location of its customers, and sell information about them.

Franken, making a name for himself battling big companies, wrote a letter to the company after it recently said it may track vehicles with the OnStar service via its global positioning system equipment, even after customers cancel the service.

“OnStar’s actions appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness for OnStar’s approximately six million customers — especially for those customers who have already ended their relationships with your company…” said a letter written by Franken and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. “We believe that OnStar’s actions underscore the urgent need for prompt congressional action to enact privacy laws that protect private, sensitive information like location. In the meantime, we believe that it is the responsibility of corporate citizens like OnStar to take every step possible to safeguard the privacy of their customers.”

OnStar, mostly on General Motors vehicles, provides navigation and communications services. One of its selling points is the technology can notify emergency services personnel if a vehicle has been in an accident, and provide them with the exact location. However, OnStar’s location service remains active even if the vehicle owner does not pay for the service.