Is Big Brother tracking your driving?

Your private driving data is being shared, and it could be used against you.

When Temieka Clay requested her LexisNexis consumer file, she got more than 200 pages of records cataloging details from the car’s onboard computer about her driving.

“This is my LexisNexis consumer disclosure report. I’m appalled,” said Clay.

She learned the OnStar system is tracking things like acceleration events, high speed events and hard break events. GM shared 603 of those entries with data brokers.

“You think the OnStar App is for safety and if it gets stolen. But certainly not spying on me and sending information to the insurance company,” said Clay.

It’s the exact same scenario described in a proposed class action lawsuit, filed just one day after Clay received her LexisNexis report this month. Clay requested the report after her insurance had shot up 80% and she’d tried to shop around for a better rate. An insurance broker suggested she check her LexisNexis report.

Patrick Olsen, Editor in Chief of Carfax, says car safety hasn’t yet caught up with privacy laws.

“I think it would be shocking for most consumers to discover that their behavior was so well watched that it was going to cost them 20%, 50%, 100% more in their insurance premiums. Especially if they had not given specific permission for that,” he said.

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

“I would just double check with your, automaker and make sure that your, information is not being sold to a third party. They’re required by law to disclose that to you if you ask,” said Olsen.

LexisNexis said in response:

“...telematics-based insurance programs can be extremely valuable in helping consumers improve their driving and lower their risk. We utilize various channels for consumers to request a copy of their LexisNexis consumer disclosure report and to dispute any data on that report that the consumer feels is inaccurate.”

Recently, GM announced it is severing ties with two data brokers telling us in a statement:

“As of March 20th, OnStar smart driver customer data is no longer being shared with LexisNexis or Verisk. Customer trust is a priority for us, and we are actively evaluating our privacy processes and policies.”

In 2022, LexisNexis said they were gathering data on more than 10 million cars and had contracts with five of the ten largest auto insurers.

“Big brother is always watching.” said Olsen.

And get this, Nissan’s data policy even claims the right to track “your sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic information,” though it’s unclear how much they’re doing now, and what they’re giving themselves leeway to monitor in a more dystopian future.

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