- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Privacy For Rent or Lease

After the recent announcement of Ajusto – the Telematics-driven Usage-Based Insurance program from Desjardins – there were several posts that derided it as an invasion of privacy for drivers.  But seriously, with everything else going on out in the interconnected world, does anyone really think that driving behaviour is private information? Or any behaviour, for that matter?

Can floss be wired, too?

As reported in Ad Age, Beam Technologies introduced a $49.95 tooth brush which has a unique feature:  ” It syncs with a user’s smartphone to record brushing time, and that data can be tracked and shared with dentists, orthodontists and, eventually, insurance companies, all on an opt-in basis.”

The insurable interest?  Presumably, this is a dental care coverage provider, and the article says, “Beam is conducting a pilot with an insurance firm and negotiating a deal to distribute the Beam Brushes to policyholders, who would agree to exchange usage data for incentives such as lower rates.”

Kevin O’Leary has it right …

It’s simple… Privacy is not a right as much as it’s a commodity that can be traded or sold.  It’s up to consumers to make the decision of whether, and if so, for how much.  As we posted back in January:

A recent survey conducted by Accenture on Holiday shopping patterns found  that 75% of consumers prefer retailers which use personalized information and 61% of consumers would trade more private information to further improve their shopping experience.

 Maybe what we all  need is a good (information) broker …

Ted Harman, writing in the LinkedIn Canadian Insurance Broker Strategy Group, had an interesting take on the telematics data issue:

The truly remarkable aspect of this development in our marketplace is how fast the public allows third parties to collect intrusive personal data without any recourse to gaining access to the data and being able to use the data for personal benefit.  Is there a business opportunity out there for a service provider looking to provide consumers with their own data they could use  for submission to insurers for their insurance shopping needs?

What do you think?

When it comes to private information, does every byte  have a price?  Or is selling every bit of your information too hard to swallow?


One Comment


Do many of us actually read and understand the terms of use when we install an app or create an online account? Sadly the legitimate businesses and organizations we want to give our information to, that follow the rules and their consciences are getting a bad rap because of all the phishing, fraud and intrusive collection of data going on. It’s no wonder identity theft and frauds are skyrocketing with all of this personal information stored in places you have no idea about nor control over. A privacy policy is only as good as the persons enforcing it. I suggest is some small way we all pay in terms of our time to thwart unwanted spam and solicitations generated by our everyday online activity. So yes, every bit has a price.

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