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Senator Goes After 'Brazen' OnStar Privacy Shift 185

coondoggie writes "U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission to get the agency to investigate recent changes navigation and emergency services company OnStar made to its privacy practices. Schumer said, 'By tracking drivers even after they’ve cancelled their service, OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory. I urge OnStar to abandon this policy and for FTC to immediately launch a full investigation to determine whether the company’s actions constitute an unfair trade practice.'"
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Senator Goes After 'Brazen' OnStar Privacy Shift

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  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @08:22PM (#37521882)

    If you would not want the government to do the same to you, maybe you could find it in your character to walk back those accusations.

    Yeah, because if the time ever comes when members of the government might want to publicly smear a private citizen they will certain back off once they check his record and see that he's always been extremely respectful of those elected to office.

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @09:55PM (#37522422) Homepage Journal

    As a scientist, I try not to make judgements except as indicated by evidence.

    However, human beings have evolved to notice patterns and make inferences.

    It doesn't matter whether a pattern holds true in all cases, it only matters whether it's more *likely* to be true as it influences my next decision.

    Thus it may not be true that all crows are black, but this is not the important point. What matters is whether the *next* crow I see will be black, given all the crows that I have seen so far. I'll take that bet, because the likelihood is there.

    I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether an average politician being motivated by their own interests is the better bet.

    (Hint: set it up as a game-theoretic problem, given that almost all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money [which is empirically true]. Alternately, look at the voting history of the politician in question and see if you can determine the % which were in the public interest.)

  • Re:Mixed feelings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ( 843637 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:21PM (#37522566)

    ...Even knowing they are, I'm not sure I really care. I guess on a theoretical level it's annoying, But I have too many other things to worry about to get worked up over this....'re apathy is deep enough to drown in. Not only that, but this is precisely why these companies a) do this, and b) get away with this.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:24PM (#37522590)

    You missed my point. I restated the golden rule: treat others as you would have them treat you. It's not about getting something out of it (preferential treatment by the government), it's about doing the right thing.

    When the senator voluntarily joined a group with a long and storied history of abusing the golden rule not only did he invalidate any claim to it, he practically asked to end up on the wrong end of it.

    In particular, his past issues [] regarding personal privacy of political opponents suggests the criticism is not baseless. You may not like the hyperbole used to express that skepticism, but that's your problem. A pol who would take that personally would be to thin skinned to ever get elected in the first place.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons