Another One for the “I Warned You” File (Updated)

TomTom has signed a deal with an insurance company to use its satnav technology to measure driving ability to set premiums.

The satnav specialist said it has teamed up with Motaquote on Fair Pay Insurance – a product that the companies claim rewards ‘good’ drivers with lower premiums, using technology to monitor driver behaviour.

TomTom tech to set driver insurance premiums (spotted via Slashdot.)

Sorry to sound like a broken record here, but I predicted something like this over a decade ago in The Death of Privacy?. That doesn’t mean I have to like it…although in principle this one I hate a little less than some, since at least it’s a private transaction, and in theory you have some choice about whether you sign on for it.

The problem is that the choice to refrain likely won’t last long. Other companies are already doing something similar. See for example Progressive Insurance’s “Snapshot” program that monitors your driving for 30 days in order to figure out your quote. Once this sort of monitoring becomes widespread, those who do not sign up for it will be dumped into the high-risk pool. This seems to be an example of the phenomenon discussed so well by Lior Strahilevitz in Privacy versus Antidiscrimination.


Update (2/10/12): Looks like insurers will be tracking drivers in the UK too:

The AA is set to launch a new insurance policy which uses sat-nav technology to track driver performance.

The firm said the system would allow its better drivers to receive cheaper premiums.

It follows similar efforts by smaller insurers. Larger rival Direct Line has told the BBC it is also piloting its own “black box” scheme.

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One Response to Another One for the “I Warned You” File (Updated)

  1. Just me says:

    Is it really a private transaction when states like our own fair Florida require you to have auto insurance? Once this becomes the norm for insurance companies this sort of monitoring will be a de facto requirement of law.

    Before New Yorkers (and others lucky enough to have reasonable transportation alternatives) go nuts, please keep in mind that there is no reasonable alternative to driving in Florida. So yes, it is as good as a statewide requirement.

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