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OnStar bows to congressional pressure, reverses privacy changes

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Democratic Sens. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (Minn.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsTrumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats Pelosi's '9/11-type' commission to investigate Capitol riot could prove dangerous for Democrats Key players to watch in minimum wage fight MORE (Del.) urged the company to reconsider the changes last week, and Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill Budowsky: Cruz goes to Cancun, AOC goes to Texas 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.”