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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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I have zero interest in OnStar or apps in general. I don't even connect my phone to the car.
As someone who is still waiting for my '23 Bolt EUV to be delivered, and who shares the above-quoted philosophy, I am finding this thread very interesting. Before I actually pick up my new car, I would really like to have as much clarity as I can about the bare minimum amount of data that I need to share with GM or third parties. I am not interested in having GPS turned on in my car (or my phone for that matter) 24/7, and I am uncomfortable with the thought of needing an app on my phone in order to access all of the features in my car. My inclination is to refuse to download the MyChevrolet app, and to never turn on, use, or subscribe to OnStar, Sirius XM, or any other third party service.
My question is; Is there any compelling reason, other than the convenience of remote starting, notifications of battery status, automatic emergency services, etc.) for me to give up my privacy (location, telemetry, driving habits, etc.) just to have access to the features these apps/services offer? Or put another way, Is there anything that I cannot do in the '23 Bolt EUV if I refuse to use the My Chevrolet app and OnStar?
Thanks in advance if this has already been answered in this thread or elsewhere, and I just missed it, and I hope my question isn't perceived as "hijacking" this thread.
:^)
 

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As someone who is still waiting for my '23 Bolt EUV to be delivered, and who shares the above-quoted philosophy, I am finding this thread very interesting. Before I actually pick up my new car, I would really like to have as much clarity as I can about the bare minimum amount of data that I need to share with GM or third parties. I am not interested in having GPS turned on in my car (or my phone for that matter) 24/7, and I am uncomfortable with the thought of needing an app on my phone in order to access all of the features in my car. My inclination is to refuse to download the MyChevrolet app, and to never turn on, use, or subscribe to OnStar, Sirius XM, or any other third party service.
My question is; Is there any compelling reason, other than the convenience of remote starting, notifications of battery status, automatic emergency services, etc.) for me to give up my privacy (location, telemetry, driving habits, etc.) just to have access to the features these apps/services offer? Or put another way, Is there anything that I cannot do in the '23 Bolt EUV if I refuse to use the My Chevrolet app and OnStar?
Thanks in advance if this has already been answered in this thread or elsewhere, and I just missed it, and I hope my question isn't perceived as "hijacking" this thread.
:^)
As you said, the only possibly useful feature is remote starting your car from far far away, work for example where you might be out of range of the FOB. Outside of this the app is a crap shoot if it works, so there's no need to really install it. Just never hit the blue onstar button in the car and give them your CC or email address and you should be good. My FOB works anywhere in my house to remote start the car in the garage so I'm good there.

If you are a stats nerd like me and want (way more) info about what the car is doing and when, you can just get a bluetooth obd adapter and torque pro app to see detailed charging data, systems info, stats, etc. No outside/cellular/subscription type crap here either just a private connection to the car.
 

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As someone who is still waiting for my '23 Bolt EUV to be delivered, and who shares the above-quoted philosophy, I am finding this thread very interesting. Before I actually pick up my new car, I would really like to have as much clarity as I can about the bare minimum amount of data that I need to share with GM or third parties. I am not interested in having GPS turned on in my car (or my phone for that matter) 24/7, and I am uncomfortable with the thought of needing an app on my phone in order to access all of the features in my car. My inclination is to refuse to download the MyChevrolet app, and to never turn on, use, or subscribe to OnStar, Sirius XM, or any other third party service.
My question is; Is there any compelling reason, other than the convenience of remote starting, notifications of battery status, automatic emergency services, etc.) for me to give up my privacy (location, telemetry, driving habits, etc.) just to have access to the features these apps/services offer? Or put another way, Is there anything that I cannot do in the '23 Bolt EUV if I refuse to use the My Chevrolet app and OnStar?
Thanks in advance if this has already been answered in this thread or elsewhere, and I just missed it, and I hope my question isn't perceived as "hijacking" this thread.
:^)
Only way for you not to be tracked is to yank out the onstar module. When you purchase the car GM/onstar already has all the information they need to track you and your car, you don鈥檛 need to have an account for them to do so. Not downloading the app will not change that either. The only reason for an account is so YOU can access the features. Anyway if you are carrying a cellphone you are already being tracked and listened to.
The only thing I do with my App is use it to monitor my charging status.
 

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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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17 Posts
As you said, the only possibly useful feature is remote starting your car from far far away, work for example where you might be out of range of the FOB. Outside of this the app is a crap shoot if it works, so there's no need to really install it. Just never hit the blue onstar button in the car and give them your CC or email address and you should be good. My FOB works anywhere in my house to remote start the car in the garage so I'm good there.

If you are a stats nerd like me and want (way more) info about what the car is doing and when, you can just get a bluetooth obd adapter and torque pro app to see detailed charging data, systems info, stats, etc. No outside/cellular/subscription type crap here either just a private connection to the car.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I like the sound of the "torque pro app" option if it doesn't share my data with a third party.
 

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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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17 Posts
Only way for you not to be tracked is to yank out the onstar module. When you purchase the car GM/onstar already has all the information they need to track you and your car, you don鈥檛 need to have an account for them to do so. Not downloading the app will not change that either. The only reason for an account is so YOU can access the features. Anyway if you are carrying a cellphone you are already being tracked and listened to.
The only thing I do with my App is use it to monitor my charging status.
Hi EV Trek, Thanks for taking the time to reply. Is it actually possible to remove the "OnStar module", or are you just pointing out that it would take an extreme measure like physically modifying the car to prevent sharing my personal data? I would be perfectly happy if my new Bolt didn't have OnStar installed in it at all, but since it will arrive at the dealership with OnStar, I would like to find out if it can be removed or disabled without causing other problems. As far as my already carrying a mobile phone goes, I agree with you in part. Unless a person were to remove the battery and SIM card from their phone, they are sharing the location of the phone with the nearest cell tower in order to maintain the cellular service to the phone. Having said that, preventing the sharing of a great deal of data can be achieved by simply turning off location sharing (GPS), wifi connectivity, Bluetooth, and the data connection with the mobile service provider. My phone is always in the equivalent of Airplane Mode. I never have my wifi, or data turned on unless I am using it at the time, and I never share my location by having GPS enabled.
I fully appreciate that to many folks (including my wife) that this seems extreme, but I prefer to at least maintain the illusion (or is it a delusion?) that I have some control over who I share my personal data with, and when. I also appreciate that many, many people think that sharing their personal data is a justifiable price to pay for the convenience of constant connection. I do not share that point of view.
Thanks again for responding!
KC
 

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Hi EV Trek, Thanks for taking the time to reply. Is it actually possible to remove the "OnStar module", or are you just pointing out that it would take an extreme measure like physically modifying the car to prevent sharing my personal data? I would be perfectly happy if my new Bolt didn't have OnStar installed in it at all, but since it will arrive at the dealership with OnStar, I would like to find out if it can be removed or disabled without causing other problems. As far as my already carrying a mobile phone goes, I agree with you in part. Unless a person were to remove the battery and SIM card from their phone, they are sharing the location of the phone with the nearest cell tower in order to maintain the cellular service to the phone. Having said that, preventing the sharing of a great deal of data can be achieved by simply turning off location sharing (GPS), wifi connectivity, Bluetooth, and the data connection with the mobile service provider. My phone is always in the equivalent of Airplane Mode. I never have my wifi, or data turned on unless I am using it at the time, and I never share my location by having GPS enabled.
I fully appreciate that to many folks (including my wife) that this seems extreme, but I prefer to at least maintain the illusion (or is it a delusion?) that I have some control over who I share my personal data with, and when. I also appreciate that many, many people think that sharing their personal data is a small price to pay for the convenience of constant connection. I do not share that point of view.
Thanks again for responding!
KC
I just had this conversation with my son. He is An electronics technician in the military and he said people would be very disturbed about how much of their data is accessible even if you are only on grid a few minutes, once they have it your privacy is gone. If you have any internet connection on any device at any time you are already compromised.
As to the removal of onstar, you can disconnect the onstar antenna I think, and reduce the range that your car can be connected to. So much is integrated into the electronics it may be impossible to remove it entirely without affecting other components, like your key fob functions. I鈥檓 not sure that they have a dedicated separate module any more just for onstar. Messing with any system, even something like onstar could also void your warranty on the electronics and computers.
not sure if it鈥檚 really worth it.
 
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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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17 Posts
I just had this conversation with my son. He is An electronics technician in the military and he said people would be very disturbed about how much of their data is accessible even if you are only on grid a few minutes, once they have it your privacy is gone. If you have any internet connection on any device at any time you are already compromised.
As to the removal of onstar, you can disconnect the onstar antenna I think, and reduce the range that your car can be connected to. So much is integrated into the electronics it may be impossible to remove it entirely without affecting other components, like your key fob functions. I鈥檓 not sure that they have a dedicated separate module any more just for onstar. Messing with any system, even something like onstar could also void your warranty on the electronics and computers.
not sure if it鈥檚 really worth it.
Hi again, I am sure that your son is correct, and appreciate your point. From my perspective, I fully understand that I am fighting an uphill battle by trying to protect my personal data. Having said that, I do everything I can to minimize what I share. Thanks very much for your input on removing OnStar. I suspect that I will just have to accept that it is there, and just not provide OnStar or GM with credit card info, and to ignore all of the "opportunities" to use their subscription services. Long-story-short, I'll lock down what I can, and ignore the rest!
:^)
Thanks again,
KC
 

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Hi again, I am sure that your son is correct, and appreciate your point. From my perspective, I fully understand that I am fighting an uphill battle by trying to protect my personal data. Having said that, I do everything I can to minimize what I share. Thanks very much for your input on removing OnStar. I suspect that I will just have to accept that it is there, and just not provide OnStar or GM with credit card info, and to ignore all of the "opportunities" to use their subscription services. Long-story-short, I'll lock down what I can, and ignore the rest!
:^)
Thanks again,
KC
I never gave them my credit card and the only services I have ever used are the free ones, I do find the charge data and use information is nice to have. Since I am retired I am usually not far enough away from the car that it requires using the app to remote start or unlock. My Key fob works well enough for me.
have a Happy New year!
 

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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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I never gave them my credit card and the only services I have ever used are the free ones, I do find the charge data and use information is nice to have. Since I am retired I am usually not far enough away from the car that it requires using the app to remote start or unlock. My Key fob works well enough for me.
have a Happy New year!
Happy New Year to you as well!
 

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2020 Chevrolet Bolt
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Must be nice. Here in Canada they deign to give us all of 2GB of data per month. If I could get unlimited data for $200/year I'd go for it just on the basis that it would save me money over having to pay roaming charges every time I visit the US.
Look into Project Fi (apparently available for Canadians). The main advantage is consistent data pricing between US and Canada ($20 / month voice, $10 / Gb data with a $50 / month unlimited data option), the ability to suspend the service, and pro-rated pricing if you use it less than a month. So I keep a Project Fi SIM and turn the service on for a few days when I visit Canada, then turn it off when I come back to the US. I have yet to use a full month of phone service in Canada after a year, so I haven't paid anything more for phone service beyond the initial $20 payment. I do have to pay for data for each visit (assuming visits in different months), but that's only $10 / Gb which is pretty good.

It does mean having a different phone number, but I just forward my calls to my Project Fi number when I'm in Canada. Can't forward text messages, however.

It's a lot cheaper than roaming charges on my US carrier or paying for a Canadian plan from Rogers / Telus / Bell every time I visit.

As a Canadian visiting the US, you could just do the opposite. Pay the initial $20 for 30 days worth of phone service in the US that you can use at any time on a pro-rated basis, then $10 / Gb for each visit. Suspend the service while you're in Canada, and only use it when you visit the US.
 

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2023 Bolt EV 1LT
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Hi again, I am sure that your son is correct, and appreciate your point. From my perspective, I fully understand that I am fighting an uphill battle by trying to protect my personal data. Having said that, I do everything I can to minimize what I share. Thanks very much for your input on removing OnStar. I suspect that I will just have to accept that it is there, and just not provide OnStar or GM with credit card info, and to ignore all of the "opportunities" to use their subscription services. Long-story-short, I'll lock down what I can, and ignore the rest!
:^)
Thanks again,
KC
As I mentioned above, I basically opt-ed out of everything during the purchase, although the tech did get me to download the MyChevy app before I realized the extent of their Privacy Policy. I would suggest declining that step too. The app does nothing for me except confirm that the car is still reporting data to GM - At least mileage updates, infrequently.

As for things you won't be able to use without agreeing to the GM / OnStar terms - There's quite a few, although none are really deal-breakers. You won't have any of the OnStar paid services - so no Turn-by-Turn built in GPS, no extra apps beyond what's preinstalled, no SiriusXM, no MyChevy, no Users profiles and no WiFi Hotspot. My dealer also pre-installed a 3rd party KARR alarm system, which uses Bluetooth to lock / unlock from your phone, but seems to piggy back off the OnStar system for remote access, so that won't work either. You also lose remote tracking and emergency services dispatch by OnStar.

Like I said, all things that I can easily live without. I'm probably going to just put a little strip of gaffers tape over the OnStar and SOS buttons on the top console. As far as I know, there hasn't been anyone who has actually disabled the OnStar module via fuse or faraday cage.
 

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2022 Bolt EUV Premier w/ Sun n Sound
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Thanks. I鈥檓 intentionally not using the built in NAV, opting instead for Apple Maps on CarPlay. I鈥檓 doing everything I can to not use OnStar. The monthly payment is the same as a fill-up at the gas station.
Do as you see fit but the built in NAV does not require any phone data or OnStar connection or subscription. Folks like me who do not have access to cheap unlimited data phone plans rely on it and it works well.
 

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2022 Bolt EUV Premier w/ Sun n Sound
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Look into Project Fi (apparently available for Canadians). The main advantage is consistent data pricing between US and Canada ($20 / month voice, $10 / Gb data with a $50 / month unlimited data option), the ability to suspend the service, and pro-rated pricing if you use it less than a month. So I keep a Project Fi SIM and turn the service on for a few days when I visit Canada, then turn it off when I come back to the US. I have yet to use a full month of phone service in Canada after a year, so I haven't paid anything more for phone service beyond the initial $20 payment. I do have to pay for data for each visit (assuming visits in different months), but that's only $10 / Gb which is pretty good.

It does mean having a different phone number, but I just forward my calls to my Project Fi number when I'm in Canada. Can't forward text messages, however.

It's a lot cheaper than roaming charges on my US carrier or paying for a Canadian plan from Rogers / Telus / Bell every time I visit.

As a Canadian visiting the US, you could just do the opposite. Pay the initial $20 for 30 days worth of phone service in the US that you can use at any time on a pro-rated basis, then $10 / Gb for each visit. Suspend the service while you're in Canada, and only use it when you visit the US.
Thanks for the tip....I'm going to check that out for sure. The unlimited plan is appealing when we visit for a week or two.
For day trips when we pass through Michigan heading to the Soo I just pay the daily roaming fee.
We had a service called Roam Mobility out of BC that offered US phone service at very reasonable prices and it sounds similar.
We used them all the time when RVing in the US but they went bust when the border closed during covid and nothing has since filled the gap.
Similar deal though, just pop in the sim card and use the US phone number we were assigned and it was good to go.
 

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2023 Bolt Premier, Ice Blue Metallic exterior, Jet Black/Nightshift Blue interior, Sun & Sound.
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As I mentioned above, I basically opt-ed out of everything during the purchase, although the tech did get me to download the MyChevy app before I realized the extent of their Privacy Policy. I would suggest declining that step too. The app does nothing for me except confirm that the car is still reporting data to GM - At least mileage updates, infrequently.

As for things you won't be able to use without agreeing to the GM / OnStar terms - There's quite a few, although none are really deal-breakers. You won't have any of the OnStar paid services - so no Turn-by-Turn built in GPS, no extra apps beyond what's preinstalled, no SiriusXM, no MyChevy, no Users profiles and no WiFi Hotspot. My dealer also pre-installed a 3rd party KARR alarm system, which uses Bluetooth to lock / unlock from your phone, but seems to piggy back off the OnStar system for remote access, so that won't work either. You also lose remote tracking and emergency services dispatch by OnStar.

Like I said, all things that I can easily live without. I'm probably going to just put a little strip of gaffers tape over the OnStar and SOS buttons on the top console. As far as I know, there hasn't been anyone who has actually disabled the OnStar module via fuse or faraday cage.
Thanks! I really appreciate you sharing your personal experience, and perspective. It makes me happy to know that I should be able to get along fine without OnStar or the MyChevy app. I am surprised to hear about the third party alarm system though. Does the Bolt EUV not have an internal alarm system? So many of those connected features are things that I don't need, and don't consider useful anyway (wifi hotspot, using Bluetooth on my phone to lock/unlock). As long as I can still use the navigation on my phone, and pair the phone via Bluetooth to the stereo so that I can listen to my MP3s, I'm good.
Thanks again, and Happy New Year!
 

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Look into Project Fi (apparently available for Canadians). The main advantage is consistent data pricing between US and Canada ($20 / month voice, $10 / Gb data with a $50 / month unlimited data option), the ability to suspend the service, and pro-rated pricing if you use it less than a month. So I keep a Project Fi SIM and turn the service on for a few days when I visit Canada, then turn it off when I come back to the US. I have yet to use a full month of phone service in Canada after a year, so I haven't paid anything more for phone service beyond the initial $20 payment. I do have to pay for data for each visit (assuming visits in different months), but that's only $10 / Gb which is pretty good.

It does mean having a different phone number, but I just forward my calls to my Project Fi number when I'm in Canada. Can't forward text messages, however.

It's a lot cheaper than roaming charges on my US carrier or paying for a Canadian plan from Rogers / Telus / Bell every time I visit.

As a Canadian visiting the US, you could just do the opposite. Pay the initial $20 for 30 days worth of phone service in the US that you can use at any time on a pro-rated basis, then $10 / Gb for each visit. Suspend the service while you're in Canada, and only use it when you visit the US.
I've had Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) service (which is as cheap or cheaper than any other plans I've found) for years and simply toggle-on international calling when I pop across the border (I live in NW WA state, six miles from the border). easy-peasy, no other phone number.
sorry for the thread hijack.
 

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2022 Bolt EUV Premier Launch Edition
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I like myChevrolet app and OnStar. It's not expensive compared to any cellular remote starter subscription. It's also excellent for emergency services which I've used. Remote start is the best feature. I can condition my cabin from my office and have it comfortable by the time I get to the parking lot. I can monitor my charge status at work. It also tells me if I have low tire pressure or potential flat tire. It has a glitch a few months ago but the updates have taken care of that.
 
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