blog In an ideal world dreamt up by insurance firms, everything you do would be tracked. Every time you got ill, your health insurance firm would determine precisely how that bug entered your oesophagus. Worker’s compensation insurers would have access to comprehensive footage of your workplace accident. And travel insurers would be monitoring your nights out with those Irish backpackers. The end result, of course, would be to determine how fundamentally everything was ultimately your fault and why you should have to pay a higher premium — or why your little accident wouldn’t be covered under your policy.
Sounds a bit far-fetched, right? Wrong. On Reckoner (we recommend you click here for the full article, it’s very well-written) Anthony Agius catalogues how insurer QBE has recently launched a product in Australia that directly tracks everything you do with you car, and the rather obvious privacy challenges that are already evident. A sample paragraph:
“That’s the extent as to something specific they log, and according to this statement, all they’re logging is your location. But how often is your location logged? Is it every second, every 10 minutes? Twice a day? Is this all they’re logging? Insurance Box doesn’t specifically say that location data is the only thing logged – just that it is something they log. Maybe they’re logging other stuff too, but just include it under a catch all “electronic data feed” term.”
Increasingly, it feels as though if you want to keep your privacy intact — from insurance firms, from your bank, from your telecommunications company, from casual searches of your telephone calls conducted by lazy law enforcement agencies — you need to make an active attempt to keep that privacy intact. Privacy is no longer a default standard in our society. It’s more than a little disturbing when an insurance firm who wants to track your car’s movements won’t disclose precisely what data they’re keeping on you or how it’s used. But then, perhaps that’s just 2013. Or is it 1984?