Is it just me, or did your Taycan come with an unrequested, always-on tracking device called StarGard?

SWORDER

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Still exploring every nook and cranny of this wonderful new Taycan! Today I want to learn about StarGard.

Before driving off the lot, at my dealership anyway, you sit down with a friendly lady who helps you finalize all the paperwork. She also offers you some "add-ons." Most of them are pretty useless but I did bite on one of them which was essentially an insurance plan for the wheels and tires.

One of the so called add-ons was called StarGard. It's $1,000. It's basically a theft protection system, kind of like LoJack. I said I didn't want it. But she said it was already installed and there's no way to opt out of it. There was no way to complete the deal without it so I conceded.

Couple days later I got an email from StarGard where they redirected me to a tracking site at StarGardGPS.com. When I logged on, I can see that this one company is keeping a log of every place my car has ever driven. Here's a snapshot of the kind of stuff they're collecting (doesn't show my home address or anything confidential):

Screen Shot 2021-06-09 at 7.24.46 AM.png



I'm not a privacy nut or anything. My life is pretty much an open book. But it does seem odd to me that there's this expensive, unrequested, non-optional, dealer add-on device attached to my car that's logging every place I visit.

Doesn't look like there's any mention of StarGard on this forum so figured I'd create this post to facilitate discussion.

The things I'm wondering about are:

(1) At what time was this thing installed? It definitely didn't come from Germany. It must have been done at the dealer. But if so, I'm not sure when. I literally took delivery right after it arrived.

(2) Where is this device located? It certainly doesn't appear to be visible within the car. There's also no way to control or deactivate it through the PCM interface.

(3) How long is the data retained? Keeping data for a rolling five to ten days might make sense in a theft prevention scenario, but this company seems to be keeping all data from delivery forward -- permanently.

(4) I can't find anything on the StarGard site that indicates if the data is encrypted in any form. If the data could only be decrypted by the vehicle owner using a PIN or passphrase in the event of a theft, that wouldn't be so bad -- but I haven't seen anything to indicate that that's the case.

Again, this isn't a "I think the KGB is spying on me" issue. I guess the main concern here is that anyone who knows your email address can, if they guess your password, gain access to every place you've ever been in your car. And when/if this company gets hacked (and they will -- let's just say their site wasn't designed with security in mind), there's going to be a treasure trove of information on tons of people.

If I chose to install this thing [which I guess I ultimately did by acquiescing] then so be it, but the fact that it was stuck in there without asking kind of sticks in my craw. That's just an expression.





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B61

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Wow, that’s an interesting finding.
I believe that’s not coming from Germany since it would be huge violation of European legislation (so called GDPR), so I’m really interested in on this topic.
 

submatrix

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Did you option the "Car Security Package"? I don't have it since I see it as a FoD option to purchase, but it sounds like some of the same features including location tracking in case of stolen vehicle, etc.

FWIW, since I just took delivery over the weekend and also bought the wheel/tire insurance, I looked over my paperwork and there's nothing about location services or Stargard or anything like that.

Edit: Actually, looking at the configurator, I don't see an option for that so maybe it's only available as FoD. Do you have it in your My Porsche account?
 

AMERCY

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Short thoughts:
* Lease or Paid?
* Tried to enable Privacy Mode?
* OTOH, the Porsche Servers always "know" where the car is (Car Location/Finder in your app or web UI), the hardware is there. Might be a contract allowing them to tap into the Porsche server
 

F16HTON

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It's a dealer added option to make additional $$ from you at finance. Essentially the company (StarGard) installs the theft protection device at the dealer during, or shortly after the PDI inspection. The dealer justifies this add-on as "inventory protection" while the car is on their lot.

You can either accept the feature at finance, or you can deny. IMO it is best to deny and ask them to remove any trace of any non-Porsche factory installed electronics.
 

taycantom

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Car Security Package would enable Porsche Vehicle Tracking System, but that is not this. StarGard sounds like something separate from your dealer installed and is likely getting a commission for. Unless you drove the car off the trailer when it arrived, there easily could have been time for the dealer to slap this on.
 
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SWORDER

SWORDER

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Did you option the "Car Security Package"? I don't have it since I see it as a FoD option to purchase, but it sounds like some of the same features including location tracking in case of stolen vehicle, etc.
Naw, I didn't option that security package. Whatever this is, it didn't appear in the official Porsche spec sheet. This is some non-Porsche add-on.
 

Jay

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My MY2020 4S doesn't have it, and I wouldn't have accepted the car if it did.
 
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SWORDER

SWORDER

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Short thoughts:
* Lease or Paid?
* Tried to enable Privacy Mode?
* OTOH, the Porsche Servers always "know" where the car is (Car Location/Finder in your app or web UI), the hardware is there. Might be a contract allowing them to tap into the Porsche server
Three year lease.

I've fiddled with Private Mode but I think that's part of the Porsche OS. It prevents certain types of data from being sent to Porsche. In contrast, this is a separate unit, maybe even with its own GPS receiver, that's bolted onto the car somewhere and can't be configured or controlled from the PCS.
 
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SWORDER

SWORDER

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You can either accept the feature at finance, or you can deny. IMO it is best to deny and ask them to remove any trace of any non-Porsche factory installed electronics.
I was given the impression that 'deny' wasn't an option. It was pretty much an "offer I couldn't refuse." Of course, I could've refused the entire delivery and walked out, but it was made clear that there was no way to get the car without this thing attached.
 

submatrix

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So just to be clear @SWORDER , where in your paperwork does it list that you paid for this $1000 option? Or did you get a separate paper that you had to sign for it? For me, I have one piece for the tire/dent protection and one for the 20k mile maintenance plan.

Edit: I also did a 3 year lease and my finance guy definitely did not offer me this option when I was signing all the paperwork.
 

Torv

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Still exploring every nook and cranny of this wonderful new Taycan! Today I want to learn about StarGard.

Before driving off the lot, at my dealership anyway, you sit down with a friendly lady who helps you finalize all the paperwork. She also offers you some "add-ons." Most of them are pretty useless but I did bite on one of them which was essentially an insurance plan for the wheels and tires.

One of the so called add-ons was called StarGard. It's $1,000. It's basically a theft protection system, kind of like LoJack. I said I didn't want it. But she said it was already installed and there's no way to opt out of it. There was no way to complete the deal without it so I conceded.
This sounds like total BS to me. There's no way there are mandatory options that you're on the hook for financially. That's a complete oxymoron. Sounds to me like your dealer is pulling a fast one.

A few months ago, I was within a nanosecond of buying a Taycan off the lot and there was no mention of the above referenced “option”. If I were you, I’d demand my $1000 back. With interest!
 
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SwissTaycan

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That does sound odd. Maybe it is a requirement of the leasing company found somewhere in the fine print of the lease???
 

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