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GM Shuts Down Controversial Data Collection Tool

Facing tremendous backlash, especially after a report from The New York Times spiked awareness, GM has reportedly shut down its tool which collects data on owners’ driving styles. Outrage dominated many corners of the internet after what we’ve known for years became more widely known, and quite frankly it was long overdue.

GM owners claim vehicle fobs are easily hacked.

A new report from Kelley Blue Book claims General Motors shut down the driving data collection program. It also says the automaker has hired a Chief Trust and Privacy Officer to help reform how it collects and shares vehicle owners’ data in the future.

What’s more, GM says it will create new “enhanced privacy controls aimed at greater transparency.” If all this sounds like the company is feeling penitent, that’s obviously the point.

The big question is whether or not this will be enough to reframe the situation in consumers’ minds. After all, privacy concerns rank highly in the minds of the public, so a scandal like this can’t be helping to move new trucks and crossovers.

GM is hardly the only automaker harvesting and selling driver’s private data, including how they drive. But with the cat out of the bag, we wouldn’t be surprised if other companies cease the practice, especially after GM was brought to heel so rapidly.

As we also covered before, the Mozilla Foundation put out a damning report which shows how automakers harvest driver data and sell it to not only insurance companies but also marketing firms and even the government. This includes not only how you drive but where you go, what you listen to, even what temperature you prefer the cabin to be.

Consumers rightfully are concerned about how their vehicle’s data is being collected and used. While having all the latest electronics and cutting-edge features can be nice, sacrificing one’s privacy to have them isn’t exactly a fair trade.

Image via GM

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