Schumer calls for FTC investigation of OnStar

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate automobile communication system OnStar Monday for recent changes to its privacy policy.

OnStar sent emails to its customers earlier this month notifying them that the company would continue to track the location of vehicles even after customers cancel their OnStar service and that current and former customers must contact the company to opt out of the program. OnStar also said it was reserving its right to sell driver data to third parties.

{mosads}In his letter to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, Schumer called on the agency to investigate whether the policy changes constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices.

“These changes put consumers at risk for having sensitive personal data collected and shared without their knowledge,” he wrote.

Schumer also sent a letter to Linda Marshall, OnStar’s executive director for global business strategy, urging her company to reconsider its changes.

“Your recent announcement that you would continue, by default, to collect data on subscribers who had terminated their service and that you retained the right to distribute that data to third parties is a violation of the trust your customers put in you,” he wrote.

He also informed Marshall that he had requested an FTC investigation into the changes.

“I hope, however, that government intervention will not be necessary and that OnStar will step up and do the right thing for its customers,” he wrote.

OnStar did not immediately return a request to comment.

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