The emergency roadside service provider OnStar is backing off plans to track data from vehicles even after the service is canceled.
The company argued that continuing data links could be used to guide future services and help consumers, but the plans came in for strong criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians concerned about the privacy implications.
Now, users who cancel their service plans can opt in to continue the data link, OnStar President Linda Marshall said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers," she said. "This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers' hands."
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who criticized OnStar over the weekend, praised the decision and said it sets an important precedent.
"This announcement puts decisions about personal privacy back where they belong, in the hands of individuals," Schumer said in a statement. "OnStar's reversal of its policy to automatically track ex-customers is a major victory for personal privacy and the company's commitment that it would offer an opt-in, if it were ever to move forward with a program to track ex-customers, rightly restores the individual as the ultimate decision-maker as to what personal information they are willing to share."
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