by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 2nd 2008 7:56am
Four years ago, we wrote about the concept of "Big Brother-style car insurance," where drivers would agree to have special black boxes attached to their cars which would transmit all sorts of info to the insurance company about their driving habits, including how much, when and how fast they drove. Those drivers who drove safer (or at safer "times") were offered better rates. We were actually quite surprised in 2005 to hear the company behind the most intrusive of these programs, Norwich Union in the UK, claim that the early tests were going so well that it was expanding the program. Three years later, we now learn that the "going so well" part may have only been on the insurers' side, rather than the customers' side. In a post talking about why such surveillance insurance plans are a bad, bad idea, the EFF also points out that Norwich Union has just ditched its offering, noting that... well... almost no one signed up. Turns out that people aren't so keen to sign up for Big Brother Brand car insurance after all. The "going well" part was actually all just wishful thinking, as the company says that it thought people would sign up only to discover that they didn't.
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