OnStar's current insidious advertising.

Apr 12, 2005 | | 0 comments |

I caught the latest OnStar ad on TV a few nights ago. It's insidious and is designed to strike the fear of God into nervous people. It's a bunch of people - a lot of them kids, saying things like "who's going to call 911 when the airbag has gone off" and "who's going to open the car when you left your keys inside." The worst one though is "who's going to track your car when its been carjacked - with your little brother in the back seat?"

I'll tell you what the people in the advert should be saying:
"Who's going to help me sue GM for using OnStar to listen to my private conversations without any notification?"
Or how about "Who's going to pay my hospital bills when the OnStar connected to my car's brain disconnects the brake-by-wire because it's been hacked and causes me to crash?"

Of course I guess in the last one, the airbags would go off so the OnStar spies would be there calling 911 for you......

GM have sunk to new lows with this advertising. OnStar is an insidious piece of technology that has no place in a vehicle. The thing is a lawsuit waiting to happen and is inherently hacker-friendly. To advertise it like it's an essential piece of life-saving equipment is just plain evil.

Unfortunately, some people have this opinions (noted from a couple of OnStar forums): "Those that are worried about Big Brother watching you must have something to hide! OnStar is agreat accessory."
This person clearly doesn't know that GM could be listening to their every conversation without so much as asking permission or having a light to tell you the in-car mic is on. He's happy to be paying them $400 a year to have his vehicle hooked up to a spy network which can easily be hacked.

Their website says it all:
"Q. Why do I need OnStar?
A. OnStar offers an unparalleled combination of safety, security, and convenience services to help keep you and your family safe while traveling. With 24/7 connectivity to a live Advisor, you have the peace of mind of knowing that when you need help, OnStar can pinpoint your location and quickly contact help on your behalf. With its simple push-button operation, OnStar is easy to use when you're driving."

The true answer of course is - you don't need OnStar at all. It's all scare tactics.