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Amazon Alexa Update for 2018+ GM Vehicles

landsharkmz3

Active member
115
65
28
Maybe you can put your tinfoil hat over onstar antenna...
It's a little less "tin hat" than people want to believe. Here are a few hard facts.

- It is always listening and always recording (in the name of a buffer), but supposed to dispose of the recording only keeping the recordings after wake words.
- Examples have been made public of recordings of whole conversations with no wake words present (confirmed by Amazon).
- Recordings have been subpoenaed in court cases

It's not just Amazon. All of the voice assistants work in the same way. It is possible to for your car and your cell phone could be doing the same thing, but that is harder to do.
 

BahamaTodd

3.8L Member
418
285
63
Palm Beach, FL
Buick Ownership
2018.5 Regal GS
I assume its going to work like with vehicle voice control where you have to press the button to activate it.
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L J

Well-known member
1,349
403
83
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX
It's a little less "tin hat" than people want to believe. Here are a few hard facts.

- It is always listening and always recording (in the name of a buffer), but supposed to dispose of the recording only keeping the recordings after wake words.
- Examples have been made public of recordings of whole conversations with no wake words present (confirmed by Amazon).
- Recordings have been subpoenaed in court cases

It's not just Amazon. All of the voice assistants work in the same way. It is possible to for your car and your cell phone could be doing the same thing, but that is harder to do.
Maybe that was poor choice of words. I was serious about tin foil or something else, being fashioned to make Onstar not able to monitor you ....when your trying to save us from big brother.
 

landsharkmz3

Active member
115
65
28
Maybe that was poor choice of words. I was serious about tin foil or something else, being fashioned to make Onstar not able to monitor you ....when your trying to save us from big brother.
ahhh, I see. Literal interpretation.

Yeah, they would use the cellular patches in the sharkfin. Make a cover for that, and connectivity will go away.
 

Idano

Member
95
33
18
Buick Ownership
Tourx
If you don't need (or want) OnStar, it's simple enough to disable--just pull fuse F38 on the inside fuse panel.
View attachment 18648
JFYI, that won't disable Onstar, that would be the same as just not using/paying for the service, the module in the car will still track and record/report. Big brother will still see you and can shutdown your car.
 

Anaduff

SUPPORTING MEMBER
258
212
43
St. Paul, Minnesota
Buick Ownership
2019 Insignia (with a Buick radio)
Pretty sure it's disabled--there isn't any OnStar button or related control that will connect you to anything/anyone ("OnStar Unavailable"--you won't even hear the 'connecting to OnStar' message), GPS is gone (along with the compass option on the instrument cluster), dealer has confirmed that the diagnostic telemetry is disabled and any voice commands you utter fall on deaf ears (the overhead microphone connects to the OnStar module before being passed onto the HMI unit). Of course the unit could still derive some power from back-feeding some voltage from the signal wires attached, but not nearly enough to provide the roughly 40 watts the unit requires. There is a dedicated one-shot back-up battery, but that only kicks-in if the OnStar module is running normally & then looses the main battery connection without seeing the ignition off signal (it assumes a major front impact which disconnected the car's battery), and then it can only power the system for a few minutes for a final call for help. So if you want to experiment with pulling F-38, do so with the engine off.

If you physically remove (or unplug) the box, you will have to provide proper passive termination for the GM-LAN buss or else suffer random vehicle system warnings.
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TricoatGS

Member
66
39
18
Buick Ownership
2018 Buick Regal GS
At a pure 2018 owner. I'd be pretty angry if I didn't get this because my car isn't a mid year model car, that would kinda be false advertising wouldn't it?
 

D2R

Member
37
9
8
Michigan
Buick Ownership
Regal
JFYI, that won't disable Onstar, that would be the same as just not using/paying for the service, the module in the car will still track and record/report. Big brother will still see you and can shutdown your car.
Not really.
The OnStar unit will not get powered.
 

Kybuck83

Member
57
57
18
Orange County, CA
Buick Ownership
2019 Regal TourX Essence
At a pure 2018 owner. I'd be pretty angry if I didn't get this because my car isn't a mid year model car, that would kinda be false advertising wouldn't it?
Was this somehow advertised when you bought the car? If not, I don't see how this factored into your purchase decision and how it would classify as "false advertising".

From the official press release:
model 2018 and newer cars, trucks and crossovers with compatible infotainment systems

I believe the old UI was common with pre-2018 cars, so the compatible system likely is the new UI.
 

L J

Well-known member
1,349
403
83
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX
Was this somehow advertised when you bought the car? If not, I don't see how this factored into your purchase decision and how it would classify as "false advertising".

From the official press release:
model 2018 and newer cars, trucks and crossovers with compatible infotainment systems

I believe the old UI was common with pre-2018 cars, so the compatible system likely is the new UI.
Alexa interface has been available on Buicks since 2011. Not sure why anyone would want someone to have ability to spy on you.
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Idano

Member
95
33
18
Buick Ownership
Tourx
Alexa interface has been available on Buicks since 2011. Not sure why anyone would want someone to have ability to spy on you.
Early adopters will get extra "Brownie Points" on their social credit score ?
 

Homer32707

New member
3
0
1
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX
It makes me laugh how paranoid everyone is. What are you doing that it matters so much if "they" hear? Nobody cares about your horrible singing, cursing at traffic, and jacking it in your car.
 

Idano

Member
95
33
18
Buick Ownership
Tourx
It makes me laugh how paranoid everyone is. What are you doing that it matters so much if "they" hear? Nobody cares about your horrible singing, cursing at traffic, and jacking it in your car.
While you're whistling past the graveyard, you might want to Google "Social Credit Score" and see what's going on in China and coming to your neighborhood soon.
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Anaduff

SUPPORTING MEMBER
258
212
43
St. Paul, Minnesota
Buick Ownership
2019 Insignia (with a Buick radio)
I'd frame the proposed intrusion (er, 'upgrade') not as paranoia [Just because you aren't paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't out to get you] but in the realm of 'I'm none of your business & wish to remain as such'. There is a comment about social media, that 'if you aren't paying for the service, you aren't the customer, you're the product--irony is that you are paying for OnStar and they still view you (and your information) as something they can sell.
 
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