Print 14 comment(s) - last by MDmom.. on Aug 3 at 5:46 PM

OnStar Family Link  (Source: OnStar)
FamilyLink sounds like a way for employers and parents to keep an eye on where kids and workers are at all times.

OnStar has rolled out a new beta service for people that have OnStar equipped vehicles. The service is called OnStar Family Link. The service takes advantage of the GPS features that OnStar equipped vehicles feature onboard and allows you to keep up with where your loved ones are when you want to.

For now, the service is a pilot program only and you have to be invited to join. Family Link allows the user to log into the Family Link website and view a map that shows the vehicles exact location at any time of the day or night. The subscriber to the service can also register for emails or text messages to be sent to let them know where the vehicle is. The emails can be set up for delivery at whatever time the user wants.

“Our subscribers have asked us for a solution to help them stay connected to their family when they’re on the road,” said OnStar President Linda Marshall. “What parent hasn’t asked their teenaged driver to call or send a text when they arrive somewhere, only to not hear from them? Family Link’s Vehicle Locate feature lets a parent check on their child’s progress or help determine when he/she might be home safe and sound."

Access to the Family Link site is limited to those with the username and password to access the vehicle data. In the future, the service will also be updated to include speed alerts to let the person know when the vehicle exceeds a specific speed. The service will also be able to send a message to the user of Family Link if the vehicle leaves a specified area. 

There is no word at this time when the service might be rolled out to all OnStar vehicle owners. The service will be a paid upgrade when it does launch for all OnStar equipped vehicle owners. 

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Big Brother
By wookie1 on 8/2/2011 3:38:55 PM , Rating: 4
"Access to the Family Link site is limited to those with the username and password to access the vehicle data."

Well, just them and the gov't anyway. Soon, you'll receive a ticket in the mail when you exceed the posted speed limit. Your car will have ratted you out.

Then, what if you go to McDonald's too much? Denial of health care benefits or maybe special taxes for you.

The possible use of this data is unlimited, which is why it won't be long before it is abused.

RE: Big Brother
By tng on 8/2/2011 9:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well, just them and the gov't anyway.
Thought the same thing.

Onstar, GM, Onstar, GM... Hey didn't the Feds loan a bunch of money to GM? Good place to try out tracking technology.

Maybe I am just paranoid.

RE: Big Brother
By idiot77 on 8/3/2011 1:28:34 AM , Rating: 2
You give the government far too much credit. They had to wait to the last second in order to do something that should have been done in 5 minutes. The government is dysfunctional because one political party wants it to be.

RE: Big Brother
By aegisofrime on 8/3/2011 2:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
The way I see it, from the POV of a non-American, the biggest problem with the USA today is that it is effectively a two-party state. The opposition party will oppose just for the sake of opposing, even if what they are opposing is a good idea.

RE: Big Brother
By jhb116 on 8/3/2011 5:27:22 AM , Rating: 2
off - topic but I agree. Time is ripe for a strong independent party to emerge, show both of the extremist parties a thing or two.....

RE: Big Brother
By wookie1 on 8/3/2011 2:13:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this is an entirely different topic. I think that the only way for this to effectively work though is for the independent party to take over an existing party through the primary process. Otherwise, independent parties are too fractured, and can't get enough votes to matter.

RE: Big Brother
By wookie1 on 8/3/2011 2:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, they weren't all that functional when one party had control either. I prefer that legislation be difficult to enact. Anyway, you don't have to give much credit to the gov't to see that this is an easy way to breach our privacy again. I didn't like the warrantless wiretapping when it was revealed during the last administration (wrote to all of my senators/representative in protest), and I don't like that the current administration has expanded the program even more.

You only get to keep the freedoms and liberties that you can and do defend. Once lost, they're very difficult to get back.

RE: Big Brother
By jhb116 on 8/3/2011 5:35:15 AM , Rating: 3
Would it be ok if just GM and add companies can track you? The reason I ask is your post seems to be framed in line with others that believe it is ok for everyone else (businesses and/or other people) to track them, except the gov't. I'm far more concerned with GM selling/sharing this info with third parties than the gov't.

RE: Big Brother
By wookie1 on 8/3/2011 2:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
Really? At least you can take legal action against the companies if they violate their privacy agreement. It seems like there is no privacy agreement with the gov't (Patriot act for example, as well as warrantless wiretaps).

By Souka on 8/2/2011 5:00:21 PM , Rating: 1
Ok idea... but I'd imagine it won't be used a great deal.

More pratical to setup the kids phone to track the kids whereabouts. It would follow the kid, not just the car.

And for those who are reaching for the reply button to criticize, here's a couple points for you...

1. If kid turns off phone, the parent takes it away.
2. If kid disables the software, the parent takes the phone away.
3. If the kid doesn't like #1 or #2, they're grounded.
4. I'm assuming the kid has a smartphone... the market share for kids is growing fast.

My $.02

RE: Hmmm...
By bhigh on 8/2/2011 5:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
You can already do this with Google Latitude.

Phone carriers have offered cell phone tracking for several years as an add-on feature as well.

RE: Hmmm...
By MDmom on 8/3/2011 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
My family also use our mobile phones with an app called Life360. it is a lot better than latitude for your family cause it isnt just a tracking thing.

Harder to steal
By gigahertz20 on 8/2/2011 6:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
With all the technology cars are coming with today, it's going to be harder and harder for people to steal them. But I imagine thief's will just learn how to disable the devices once they take the car, at least the stupid ones will be caught though.

RE: Harder to steal
By troysavary on 8/3/2011 6:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
OnStar has been used to track stolen vehicles for over a decade.

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