OnStar bows to congressional pressure, reverses privacy changes

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Democratic Sens. Al FrankenAl FrankenTSA under investigation for racial profiling Judiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Senate passes resolution honoring Prince MORE (Minn.) and Chris CoonsChris CoonsJudiciary Dems seek hearing on voting rights Investments in research and development are investments in American jobs House clears trade secrets bill for Obama's signature MORE (Del.) urged the company to reconsider the changes last week, and Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerRyan goes all-in on Puerto Rico Cruz's dad: Trump 'would be worse than Hillary Clinton' With Ryan’s blessing, lawmakers press ahead with tax reform talks MORE (D-N.Y.) asked the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into whether the changes amounted to to unfair trade practices.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar President Linda Marshall said in a statement. “This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers.” 

She said that if OnStar ever decides to collect data from customers who have canceled their service, customers would have to opt into the program.

Marshall said maintaining the data connection would have allowed OnStar to alert former customers about natural disasters or product recalls.

“OnStar’s reversal of its policy to automatically track ex-customers is a major victory for personal privacy and the company’s commitment that it would offer an opt-in, if it were ever to move forward with a program to track ex-customers, rightly restores the individual as the ultimate decision-maker as to what personal information they are willing to share," Schumer said in a statement. "I applaud their responsiveness to our concerns.”