Big Brother Brand Car Insurance

from the you've-gotta-fight-for-your-right-to-party dept

A British car insurance company is offering a pay-as-you-drive policy that includes a black box for transmitting a driver’s mileage data — which means cheaper insurance rates for people who don’t drive much. There is a similar “black box” policy in the US, but the driving behavior is stored for review by the driver, and the driver just gets a discount if he/she chooses to pass the data onto the insurance company. These policies have been suggested in the past, but usually are quickly shouted down by a somewhat horrified public. Still, the insurance companies are trying again. The flip side to these cheaper policies is that drivers are giving up their “freedom” to drive a bit recklessly, and it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to foresee a point where driving behavior could be constantly monitored by wireless sensors. As long as these insurance policies are all voluntary, the companies say no one can complain about Big Brother, but there’s a point at which “voluntary” doesn’t become so voluntary when most insurance carriers offer such a policy, and those who “voluntarily” opt-out are charged much higher rates. Either way, “choosing” to break the speed limit could get a lot more expensive soon.

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