Some of you may not know this, but GM installs OnStar in every new vehicle it sells. The system involves a GPS receiver/transponder - so that you can get "real time" assistance (such as directions, or summon assistance after a wreck) anywhere, anytime. But it also means your car can be tracked anywhere, anytime - and possibly, that GM could be monitoring (and recording) your driving habits. The system absolutely has the capability to shut your car's engine down remotely - with or without your consent.

God only knows what else it is capable of doing.

My issue with OnStar is that GM doesn't give you the option of saying, "no thanks." If you want a GM car, you have to accept OnStar.

The whole thing gives me the creeps. Especially given GM's track record with EDRs - the "black boxes" it also installs in all its new cars. These things record data such as vehicle speed and whether you were "buckled up for safety" - downloadable after, say, a crash.

GM has the audacity to claim the data contained in these EDRs - in your privately owned car, that you paid for - is not your private property and can (and has been) turned over against the consent of the vehicle owner to be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

This isn't about whether the driver/owner's actions were right (or wrong). It's about whether a large corporation (or a small one!) has any claim over any part of your vehicle - including any data stored in a computer or EDR.

I say, throw OnStar - and EDRs! - in the woods...