OnStar reports location and speed data to the car manufacturer. Sometimes they will sell this data to insurance companies to raise your premium, as several news stores pointed out a few weeks ago. I couldn’t really find an advantage to OnStar, (I have my phone to call emergency services) so I disabled it by pulling it’s fuse.

For my 2019 bolt, it’s f31 in the instrument panel fuse box, just down and to the left of the steering wheel. The fuse box cover comes off when you pull it hard from the bottom.

I was able to find which fuse went to OnStar in the owners manual and labeled on the inside of the fuse box cover. You should be able to find it for your model car there too if it uses OnStar.

I did have the casualty of my speaker for calls and texts. I’m not able to use it right now. I’ll see if I can dig in and reconnect it somehow, but we’ll see.

Who knows that other into they’re snitching back to GM, or what they could do in the future, so I recommend disconnecting it. Good luck!

  • humorlessrepost@lemmy.world
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    Cadillac here. I just unscrew the cellular antenna from the onstar module before leaving the lot. Looks like the onstar module is less conveniently located for bolts (it’s under my rear seats, I think it’s behind your screen), but that’s a good way to avoid collateral damage to other things on the same fuse. Since it’s a separate antenna from the gps, I even still get navigation, just without map updates. It’s all the good of a cell jammer, with none of the prison or fines. For now.

  • umbrella@lemmy.ml
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    inb4 manufacturers start baking it into the fuel injection cpu, and spending (your) extra money with encryption to lock the “owner” out like modern phones

  • RvTV95XBeo@sh.itjust.works
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    LMK if anyone finds the fuse my Kia uses to track my sex life per the TOS. Also unrelated, but please LMK if anyone finds my sex life. I seem to have misplaced it.

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    So if they’re charging more for bad drivers, they’ll charge less for good drivers, right?

    If one company raises rates on bad drivers and uses the difference to offer lower rates to other drivers, they’ll get more customers.

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        Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I guess that’s essentially the hidden question in my original comment. “Is there enough healthy competition in the market that this will bring benefits to good drivers.”

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      The thing even some reporters who’re alarmed at this story like: usage-based insurance which does actually let people pay less if they’re provably safe. Safe, and/or low mileage. They also want drivers to be alerted when aggressive driving is detected to be given a chance to improve.

      I think a program like that might be OK today for those who are very well informed about it. One day if every new car is web connected, I can imagine insurers trying to gouge anyone not in a driver monitoring program.

      Such a privacy & liberty nightmare has a small silver lining I almost refuse to acknowledge: in a full-on Big Brother driving world, with human-expert-equivalent analysis of behavior, raging murderous drivers would certainly find it harder to do 100+ MPH with their lights off entering an active crosswalk while passing a schoolbus in the rain.

  • AlexWIWA@lemmy.ml
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    Infiniti put 3g chips in their car because they were cheap, now they don’t work. Guess I don’t need to worry.

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      the rare occasion when corporate penny pinching will actually be a good thing.

      • AlexWIWA@lemmy.ml
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        After I read about the Lexis Nexus shit I was like, hell yeah I’m never selling my car.

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    Sometimes they will sell this data to insurance companies to raise your premium

    Would it be illegal to fuck with whatever tech they use to spy on you like that so it falsely reports you drive safer than you do so your rates are lower?

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        I think the only time is when you’re a new driver. They lowered mine after a year or something back when I was 18. No idea if they still do that.

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          Nope. I got my license about two years ago, and my rates have only gone up. I got my license a little over a month before turning 25, which may or may impact things

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            It helps to call three or four different insurance agencies to get them to complete on price.

            I do this every year before circling back to my current and sharing that their competitors are cheaper.

            They usually yield and lower the price and I don’t have to switch

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              Unfortunately, I always take a look around whenever my policy renews (every 6 months) and the one I’m with always manages to be at least a couple hundred bucks cheaper than others. Maybe it’ll be different for me in a couple years ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • PhobosAnomaly@feddit.uk
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      Obviously the final answer will be different in every jurisdiction, but I would think it’d be less of a fraud issue - you can’t be accused of sending false information if you’re sending no information.

      I suspect where things would get dicey is in the car-as-a-service part - where the EULA of a car software would open you up to legal challenge if you changed any hardware or software function of the car.

      It would absolutely 95% get laughed out of court, but not without leaving you with a hefty legal bill no doubt. Obviously the full answer would depend on your local legal system and lawyer’s advice.

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      There’s an easy rule of thumb you can use to answer this type of question.

      Will the people with money have less?

      If so, it’s illegal. Other way around is fine for some reason.

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      It wouldn’t be illegal, but if the insurance company found out they would use it as a reason to not pay in the event of an accident.

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        It wouldn’t be illegal, but if the insurance company found out they would use it as a reason to not pay in the event of an accident.

        You didn’t lie to the insurance company. They stole what they assumed to be accurate info from somebody who stole it from you.

        They that the stolen info they didn’t ask your permission to buy was fake sounds like a them problem.

  • Semi-Hemi-Lemmygod@lemmy.world
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    4 months ago

    This post makes me really glad I didn’t buy a Chevy Bolt the last time I bought a car. I thought the whole subcompact electric thing was cool, but this is kind of insane.

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      It’s not just electric, and it’s not just subcompacts. It’s pretty much every car with a cellular capability (onstar and competitors), whether you have service enabled or not.

      Check for your make here: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/categories/cars/

      Nissan even has in their privacy policy that they can collect your “sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information” and will sell to advertisers “Inferences drawn from any Personal Data collected to create a profile about a consumer reflecting the consumer’s preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes”. Not so realistic until you sync your phone and text message history to the car.

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        Thanks! I checked and both my cars are too old to be a problem, and I don’t see myself buying a car made after 2019… ever.

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          Closing your eyes and plugging your ears and ignoring the problem won’t make it go away, it’ll allow it to grow unfettered until 2050 when your 40 year old beater finally gives out and you have to buy a newer car.

          • Semi-Hemi-Lemmygod@lemmy.world
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            Ah, okay, let me just nip on down to the GM R&D facility and ask them nicely to remove these features.

            Seriously, what do you expect me to do other than not buy what they’re selling? And if every car is like this, do I just never buy a car?

            • subtext@lemmy.world
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              You can promote and share articles such as the Mozilla research that this outrage came from to raise awareness and a coalition of like-minded, privacy-focused individuals.

              You can donate to non profits that are dedicated to bringing these privacy invasions to light and fighting them such as the EFF or the Mozilla Foundation.

              You can write to your Senators or your Representative to let them know you’re unhappy with how these companies are treating your legislators’ constituents.

              I have done all of the three above and I can at least say that I’m doing my part even if I’m not going to the GM R&D facility.

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          This is a pretty recent problem. Most people who have cars from the mid-2010s, even into the late 2010s, probably don’t have anything to worry about unless they bought something pretty high-end.

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        this makes me so happy to have a 2005 truck with physical dials and a CD player and no fucking touch screen shit. every time I rent a car somewhere I despise the experience.

          • WarmSoda@lemm.ee
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            Based on the responses, we’re wrong in thinking a decade old car is not new.

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          If you think a 2014 model car is new, you’ve got bigger issues than gps tracking.

            • the post of tom joad@sh.itjust.works
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              I bought a 2005 vehicle with 140k miles on it and with prices fucking thru the roof, plus all this privacy violating shit coming out i am fuckin chuffed.

              • Voyajer@lemmy.world
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                New as in new-to-me. Actual new from the dealer cars have such a bad value proposition that they’re not worth considering if you have the bare minimum capability to do maintenance yourself, and that is before the new fad of dealer markup nonsense that’s been happening.

                • WarmSoda@lemm.ee
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                  New to you is nice and all, but it’s not actually new. Sorry to break it to you.

                  E. Lol you can downvote me all you’d like. It doesn’t change reality.

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              A decade old car is new to you?

              Try selling one as new and let me know how that goes.

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                Why would I be selling my car? An equivalent car would be over 70k for the same horsepower and mileage when mines running great.

                • WarmSoda@lemm.ee
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                  I’m sorry, I forgot you don’t sell cars. Obviously no one else does either because you don’t.

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                  This might be a shock to you, but they’ve made cars in 2023. They even make them in 2024. They’re considered this strange thing called “new”

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            A 2014 car is sending minimal data if any besides GPS. Yes that’s a big thing but compared to what cars have been doing the last 5 years it doesn’t even register IMO and it’s still less than your phone and computer are likely sending. I promise you there isn’t a single car from 2014 that is sending data on your sexual activity, which yes, current cars are actually doing.

            Edit: to be clear, I don’t think there was ever a lack of will on this, it just wasn’t as feasible as it is now. Hence why so much attention has been called to it over the last half year or so, especially after the Mozilla foundation’s findings. This is a relatively new issue. If you have a car from the mid 2010s, you are probably not nearly as exposed. Especially if you don’t own a higher end car from that period.

      • Semi-Hemi-Lemmygod@lemmy.world
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        I think it’ll take some kind of economic incident like the Oil Crisis to get car companies to make nice, small, electric cars. All they seem to want to make now are SUVs, CUVs, and trucks.

      • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.worksOP
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        I’ve really liked it. Has enough range for me, and android auto takes care of everything that isn’t driving.

        • Bilb!@lem.monster
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          I got a 2023 Bolt EUV a few months ago and I love it. (I wanted the EV but I couldn’t find any.)

          I’m curious if disabling the OnStar stuff is as “simple” as it is in the 2019 models.

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    Likely the Bluetooth features are integrated with the same module that does OnStar, so keeping one and not the other isn’t possible, unless the antenna for the OnStar is separate from the module and can be disconnected.

    You could disconnect an antenna that is integrated with the module, but that requires disassembly of the module. Disassembly of the module may not be feasible.

      • Death_Equity@lemmy.world
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        I looked at some wiring diagrams and forums; the wifi, Bluetooth, and OnStar are in one module. The module is able to be taken apart with a torx bit, I can’t tell if it is a security torx. You would need some understanding of how electronics work to strategically break it so OnStar can’t connect. There is the potential that no antenna can cause damage to the module, so be aware of that.

        You can make a dummy antenna to plug in to make it so the module can’t connect and lessen the likelihood of the entire module failing. There appears to be some ability for the car to phone home but I didn’t find an answer if it was connecting to the phone, grabbing wifi somewhere, or if the dummy antenna still had enough connectivity.

        • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.worksOP
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          Looks like pulling the fuse does disable Bluetooth. My phone is still saying it’s connected for calls, and it pops up a notification as connected on the screen, but it won’t play audio.

    • JohnDClay@sh.itjust.worksOP
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      Looks like pulling the fuse does disable Bluetooth. My phone is still saying it’s connected for calls, and it pops up a notification as connected on the screen, but it won’t play audio.

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    Could you share how you determined this?

    I have a 2016 KIA with a similarly creepy system. The head unit is glued in, so disconnecting the antenna is not an easy task.

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    For older cars, if the only “smart” thing you have is GPS, you should be fine since it only receives and doesn’t transmit.