OnStar System: Remotely Halt Stolen (And Only Stolen) Cars

The AP via slashdot:

DETROIT (AP) — Say some clown steals your car from the parking deck at work. If it’s equipped with General Motors’ OnStar service, he could be in for a big surprise and you could get a little revenge — and even see your car again.

Starting with about 20 models for 2009, the service will be able to slowly halt a car that is reported stolen, and the radio may even speak up and tell the thief to pull over because police are watching.

Wow Mr Reporter, that sure sounds great. There is no chance they’ll use this for anything else. Ever. That’s why the article, as slashdot notes: “doesn’t mention any privacy implications.”

There’s no way authorities will use this to enforce license suspensions. Or if they want to pull you over. One commentator observed:

alan_dershowitz (586542) on Tuesday October 09, @06:42PM (#20918717)


You know what, after I posted I remembered actually hearing about police wanting something like this to be mandated. I did a little googling and:

UK Police call for remote button to stop cars [guardian.co.uk]. So, if you are in the UK at least, no it would not be a slippery slope; they have already asked for this power to be added to all cars once it is safe. Interestingly, some politicians expressed interest in this being used as a way to prevent speeders by forcibly reducing your car’s maximum speed around school zones or in bad weather.


And the AP doesn’t even pretend to do any reporting here. Seriously, how is this anything other than a packaged press release? I hope they at least got paid by OnStar, because this kind of advertising shouldn’t be free.

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