Kenn Dahl says he has always been a careful driver. The owner of a software company near Seattle, he drives a leased Chevrolet Bolt. He’s never been responsible for an accident.

So Mr. Dahl, 65, was surprised in 2022 when the cost of his car insurance jumped by 21 percent. Quotes from other insurance companies were also high. One insurance agent told him his LexisNexis report was a factor.

LexisNexis is a New York-based global data broker with a “Risk Solutions” division that caters to the auto insurance industry and has traditionally kept tabs on car accidents and tickets. Upon Mr. Dahl’s request, LexisNexis sent him a 258-page “consumer disclosure report,” which it must provide per the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What it contained stunned him: more than 130 pages detailing each time he or his wife had driven the Bolt over the previous six months. It included the dates of 640 trips, their start and end times, the distance driven and an accounting of any speeding, hard braking or sharp accelerations. The only thing it didn’t have is where they had driven the car.

On a Thursday morning in June for example, the car had been driven 7.33 miles in 18 minutes; there had been two rapid accelerations and two incidents of hard braking.

  • vlad@lemmy.sdf.org
    link
    fedilink
    arrow-up
    8
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    4 months ago

    I’m sure it’s possible, but I’m sure they’ve made it as painful as it can be.

    • Shurimal@kbin.social
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      26
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      4 months ago

      Most likely the module, if it is a separate module and not part of the SoC of the infotainment system or whatever, works over CAN bus and the car will throw errors when it doesn’t detect its presence, or doesn’t detect the SIM card. Might even refuse to start if that module is missing. Might be possible to remove the antenna so the car thinks it’s just outside of the service area, but if it’s built into the PCB and the PCB is cast into resin/silicone for waterproofing, even this might be extremely difficult. Probably the module is also serialized* so replacing it with a “dummy” module or a module from a junkyard won’t spoof the system, either.

      *Manufacturers have been serializing even airbags for years, making replacing a faulty one with one from a junkyard impossible.

      • Patches@sh.itjust.works
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        4
        ·
        4 months ago

        You’re approaching it in the wrong way. You don’t need to stop the Data Collection just the phone home. Find the antenna and Faraday Cage it.

        • AngryJadeRabbit@lemmy.world
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          5
          ·
          4 months ago

          Yeah, some aluminum foil on the inside of those shark fin antennas will probably stop all communication. Just have to use your phone for radio & navigation, which isn’t a big deal on CarPlay or whatever the androids use.

      • IllNess@infosec.pub
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        4 months ago

        Maybe we can trick it forever that it is far away from a cell tower. That way the car has to start without connection.

        Who knows, maybe they force you to use their app and after driving and connecting to the internet, that sends data back to the manufacturer.

    • rikonium
      link
      fedilink
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      4 months ago

      I’m sure it varies widely. In Toyota’s you can call in to disconnect (I did it while waiting for a tire pressure machine) but to do it physically you pull a single fuse and the trade off is losing the microphone.

      Others have pulled the dash and disconnected antennae but it just reduces the range of the box since it’s a cellular radio like a phone.

        • rikonium
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          4
          ·
          4 months ago

          in this case that’s Toyota specific and it means likely loss of phone calls on the go (but nothing else) even though the data can’t leave your vehicle anymore. It all depends on how they wire up the system. Maybe it’s easier, maybe it’s tied to something random.

      • vlad@lemmy.sdf.org
        link
        fedilink
        arrow-up
        3
        ·
        4 months ago

        Do you have any resources that I can use to learn more about about removing telemetry from a vehicle? Is there a good forum that could help me potentially do this to my car?

        • rikonium
          link
          fedilink
          arrow-up
          6
          ·
          edit-2
          4 months ago

          There’s no easy one-stop solution since it can vary widely.

          I would look at subreddits (yuck, reddit!), or dedicated forums for your model if they exist, you’d probably be surprised what’s out there. (Example, there’s Piloteers (Honda Pilot), Kia-Forums (Kia), 4Runners and Toyota-4Runner, etc. But information may be scattered.

          First objective is figuring out if it’s even on your vehicle or applicable. Older 3G radios are done since the networks that connected to them are gone now. My '16 Kia had no cellular radio. Maybe you have an SOS button or they advertise a phone app to control your vehicle remotely?

          Edit: And if you can’t find specific model/year information for your vehicle, you can look for information for related vehicles and see if it’s relevant. Ex: Honda Passport, Pilot, Ridgeline sharing a lot of engineering.