Car Insurance Companies Know More About You Than You Think Digital Trends

Your car insurer apparently knows a lot more about you than you might think – and uses that information to set your rates. According to a new report in the New York Times, new cars with internet-enabled features record your driving habits and that data is shared with data brokers, who then sell the information to car insurance companies.

This happens regardless of driver intervention. When you buy a car these days, you often have the option to lower your insurance premiums by downloading an app and having your car record things like: B. how hard you brake and how you corner. However, data collection occurs regardless of whether you use these functions or not.

The report notes that major automakers such as General Motors, Ford, Kia and Suburu share data with brokers such as LexisNexis and Verisk, which then analyze it and pass it on to insurance companies. The insurance companies then use this to determine a “risk score” for a driver, which is then incorporated into the rates that the insurance companies charge drivers.


The news isn’t all that surprising, but it is disappointing. Last year, Mozilla said in a report that cars were the “worst product category” Mozilla had ever reviewed for privacy. In fact, according to the report, cars track not only driving habits and location, but also metrics such as biological characteristics, sexual orientation, sex life, genetic data and more. All car manufacturers are guilty of this – and Tesla is one of the worst offenders.

Fortunately, there seems to be some push toward regulating the types of data automakers are allowed to collect. U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) recently wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) arguing that there are not enough restrictions on automakers’ data collection.

“I am writing to urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the privacy practices of automakers,” Markey said in the letter. “With new advances in vehicle technology and services, automakers have siphoned off massive amounts of data about drivers, passengers and even people outside the vehicle. Based on public reports and responses to my own inquiries about these practices, automakers face few, if any, restrictions on the collection, use and disclosure of this data. Consumers are often in the dark.”

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