Is your car spying on you? This is what one woman said happened to her

ATLANTA — When Temieka Clay shopped around for new car insurance she got a denial letter. The letter suggested she check her LexisNexis report to find out why.

When she did, she found 603 records from the OnStar computer system in her Chevy Camaro.

General Motors had provided her car’s data to data brokers.

“The OnStar app, you think safety if it gets stolen. But certainly not spying on me and sending information to the insurance company,” Clay told Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray.

Clay learned the OnStar system is tracking things like acceleration events, high-speed events, and hard break events and GM has been sharing that data with data brokers.

“Your car is essentially turning into a computer and collecting data on you as you drive. And that data is worth something, particularly to your insurance company,” executive director of the Center for Auto Safety Michael Brooks said.

It’s the exact same scenario described in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida, just one day after Clay received her LexisNexis report earlier this month.

Clay said her insurance had gone up 80% even though she has had no accidents or tickets. Now she suspects she knows why.

“All this means I’m a bad insurance risk and hike my premiums,” Clay said.


After the lawsuit became public, GM announced it is severing ties with two data brokers.

A GM spokesperson told Channel 2 Action News in a statement: “As of March 20th, OnStar smart driver customer data is no longer being shared with LexisNexis or Versick. Customer trust is a priority for us, and we are actively evaluating our privacy processes and policies.”

Brooks said laws and regulations have not kept up with technology.

“Right now, there are no federal laws requiring that automakers have privacy protections for their owners or cybersecurity protections on their vehicles,” Brooks said.

Anyone can do what Clay did and request their LexisNexis consumer disclosure report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

“Never did I imagine it would be spying on us and sending information about driving habits. That’s just unbelievable,” Clay said.

Gray also reached out to LexisNexis Risk Services who tells us auto insurance rates have been increasing across the board because of “more frequent and severe claims, rising costs to repair or replace vehicles, and riskier driving behaviors, such as speeding. With these increases, telematics-based insurance programs can be extremely valuable in helping consumers improve their driving and lower their risk.”

It’s not just GM sharing data. In 2022 LexisNexis risk services said in a statement they were gathering data on more than 10 million cars and had contracts with 5 of the 10 largest auto insurers.


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