Are insurance telematics and privacy invasion inter-related?

insurance telematics and privacy invasion

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With the emergence of insurance telematics, many insurers are looking forward to rewarding the good drivers with lower premiums. The trend, however, is opening up a new debate about consumers’ privacy concerns. But are insurance telematics and privacy invasion two sides of the same coin?

A team of computer engineers from the Rutger’s University caution that drivers agreeing to be monitored might be giving away information about where they are driving to. The team demonstrated that all it takes is a starting location of the driver, which would then supply a steady stream of data of their driving speed, and that could reveal their travel destination, whether or not they have a GPS device or any other location-sensing technology installed in their vehicles. Further, it was found that insurance companies and their customers get incentivized to monitor their driving speeds, according to an article published by redOrbit.com.

It was reported by the researchers that even though the companies claim that this practice doesn’t invade privacy, since they are merely interested in the speed and not the location of their customers, the researchers have shown that in fact speed data and starting point are all that is needed to have an approximate idea about where the vehicle is being driven. However, the researchers explain, it is difficult to pinpoint a person’s exact driving path using this limited amount of information; besides, the results tend to be less accurate than that achieved using a GPS or cellular signal. Nevertheless, with the help of the “elastic pathing” technique it is possible to accurately determine a person’s destination to within one-third of a mile, by matching speed patterns and street layouts.

Read the original article to find out more about this debate and whether insurance companies can actually be considered encroaching upon the consumers’ privacy.

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