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GM, OnStar, and LexisNexis deny sharing personal data, telematics without customer permission

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General Motors, OnStar, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions have denied allegations made in a lawsuit filed by a Florida man that his personal vehicle data was collected and negatively affected an insurance quote he received.

The suit, which has been filed seeking class action certification, alleges the companies invaded Romeo Chicco’s privacy by compiling “erroneous reports of derogatory and negative driving information made without Plaintiff’s knowing consent.”

The lawsuit came on the heels of a New York Times investigation into similar allegations on which an article was published in March. Since then, the Times has reported that GM has said it will no longer sell driving data to third-party companies.

The lawsuit alleges LexisNexis knowingly and/or willfully violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to maintain accurate data on Chicco. All defendants are accused of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and privacy law.

The defendants filed their response to Chicco’s complaint Monday.

“Defendants deny any and all liability under Plaintiff’s causes of action as alleged in the complaint,” the document states. “Further, defendants maintain that plaintiff is required to submit his claims to binding arbitration pursuant to an enforceable contract containing a valid arbitration provision that plaintiff accepted.

“As such, defendants expressly reserve their arbitration defenses and right to move to compel arbitration. Defendants expressly deny each and every allegation in the complaint that is not admitted, denied, or otherwise addressed.”

The answer to the complaint contends the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims made in the complaint based on the binding arbitration agreement.

The defendants added that a welcome email sent to Chicco by OnStar on Nov. 18, 2021 contained its terms and conditions and privacy statement, and mentioned data sharing with third parties, including usage-based insurers.

OnStar’s privacy statement concerning third-party business relationships is “neatly hidden on their website, and made inconspicuous through the downloading of mobile applications, at worst, does not grant OnStar or GM the right to furnish car driving data to Lexis and is ambiguous at best,” the complaint states. “This scheme is deceptive, unfair, and misleading to consumers.”

“Defendants admit that OnStar collects driving behavior data with customer consent,” the answer to the complaint states. “Defendants deny that plaintiff’s driving data was collected without his consent… Defendants deny that they distributed plaintiff’s telematics information without his consent.”

According to the document, GM’s records show that Chicco enrolled in OnStar services on Nov. 16, 2021, and certain services were active as of Jan. 11, 2024.

The defendants deny that they’re liable or indebted to Chicco or any putative class members and that Chicco and class members are entitled to any of the relief they requested in the suit. They claim as well that the putative classes are “inadequately defined and unascertainable.”

The plaintiffs are asking the court for a jury trial; actual, statutory, and putative damages, and an injunction against “further data collection and/or sharing to third parties without their consent.”

The defendants asked the court to rule in its favor so that Chicco and the classes “take nothing” and are compelled to arbitration.

They seek payment of their costs, expenses, and reasonable attorneys’ fees by the plaintiffs.

No hearings have been scheduled on the case.


Featured image credit: Bill Oxford/iStock

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