Here’s another potential tracking device you may not have thought of: SiriusXMat least in its higher-end offerings with more connected car technology. Police in Rye Brook, New York credit the satellite radio provider for leading them to an Infiniti QX60 crossover that was reported stolen. Yes, Sirius XM, the company that allows Garth Brooks to play whatever he wants on one channel.
How Sirius XM helped recover a stolen car
Rye Brook police said they were notified about the Infiniti QX60 by Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services around 2 a.m. Sunday. The car had one of Sirius XM’s systems, the Infiniti InTouch infotainment system, and had been stolen from Stamford, New York, on Saturday, then stopped on Holly Lane in Rye Brook. Three suspects, all 21-year-olds from Queens, were inside the car and were subsequently arrested. All three suspects were charged with felony possession of stolen property.
Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services
Not all Sirius XM cars have this tracking capability, nor is it something all of their radios can do, since it has nothing to do with the audio side of the company. Only those with Sirius XM connected vehicle services like InTouch or UConnect Access enabled can do this. These are enhanced connected car services offered by Sirius XM that are less like a simple radio service and more like a onstar suiteto name one of his rivals here.
Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services, like OnStar, develops in-car technology for comfort and safety that it provides to many automakers. UConnect, for example, is Stellantis’ infotainment system.which is why many newer Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Ram, Fiat, and Jeep models are capable of pinpointing the location of your stolen ride to the police if you also have that service enabled.
The privacy of user data is compromised
However, depending on your relationship to data privacy, the idea of a company being able to share your car’s location data with the police may seem like an added layer of protection, or it may sound like a bridge too far. That’s an even bigger concern in 2022, where a patchwork of vastly different state laws has resulted in people crossing state lines only to access forms of health care that are prohibited or severely restricted in their home states.
Legally speaking, user privacy protections are woefully thin, as nothing currently blocks warrantless vehicle surveillance and, well, the data is there in a connected car.
Is it possible to disable the tracker service?
Asked Sirius XM to what extent these trackers can be disabled if you prefer not to use them, the company noted that users must explicitly opt in to send their vehicle location data to the policeas a Sirius XM representative explained the following:
“The Stolen Vehicle Locator Service is only provided in response to the vehicle owner’s request for the service accompanied by a valid stolen vehicle police report or at the request of the law enforcement agency receiving the police report, after verification with the subscriber.
Vehicle location is not shared with the Sirius XM Connected Vehicle unless the subscriber or driver requests an enabled service, such as Find Your Vehicle, navigation assistance to a point of interest, or request emergency assistance via an SOS buttonwith the exception of an accident in which the airbags are deployed or the seat belts are retracted, for which the vehicle automatically calls the response center with its location, which allows us to send emergency services to the scene of the accident if justified (eg, the driver does not respond or expressly requests help)”.
Satellite radio cannot share privacy data
That “select services” part is also key, as not all Sirius XM connected car service plans include this particular service. Different UConnect Access plans, for example, offer different services, and not all of them include stolen vehicle assistance or a vehicle finder. In the same way, If all you have is Sirius XM satellite radio without a full suite of connected car services, the company has clarified that you won’t be able to share any location data. As always, though, if you’re unsure about data privacy, you might want to stick with a non-connected car just in case.