Two years ago, Media Matters mocked Glenn Beck for his “conspiracy theory” that OnStar had too much power with its ability to track cars, listen to conversations and ultimately turn the car off. Well, it looks like his concerns were accurate, as GM has just made a major announcement about the GPS system. Wired Magazine now reports that even if you cancel your OnStar service, you are still being tracked.
At the end of this story, we provide the steps you can take to disable the OnStar device from your vehicle.
“What’s changed [is that if] you want to cancel your OnStar service, we are going to maintain a two-way connection to your vehicle unless the customer says otherwise,” Denison said in a telephone interview. The connection will continue, he said, to make it “easier to re-enroll” in the program, which charges plans from $19 to $29 monthly for help with navigation and emergencies.
Wow, maybe we should be more worried about corporations tracking us than Big Brother. It’s one thing to install this device for “navigation and emergencies,” but the fact that OnStar wants to have the right to sell your GPS derived data makes me a little leary.
Here is the the best technique for disabling the antenna on your vehicle from the OnStar GPS tracking system (preventing it from sending data to OnStar):
Un-screw the cable that goes to the antenna, then attach a 50 ohm load to both the antenna and cable, and it will render it useless as a tracking device. The optimal thing to do is to find out where the control module is located and remove the entire module, or add a kill switch to the dash that kills the module, but the airbags firing reactivates it. Use a shielded terminator, then attach the terminator housing to the vehicle chassis. It works like a charm.
Locating and full removing the module is the best option.