We all are aware of Facebook / Google etc tracking our web behaviour, and store cards like FlyBuys / CountDown etc tracking spend behaviour, in order to pitch advertising.
I've lamented a few times over a pint about how bad it will be when MasterCard / Visa start 'selling' consumer info - and one of the discussion points was what we thought Insurance companies would / could do with the data.
I can't recall when I first had this discussion - but essentially it's the premise that Insurance companies could scan your spending habits to determine if they were going to insure you. (Like - you eat bad food a lot, so up goes your Medical Insurance risk / cost).
Today, while scanning headlines, I see this exact idea is becoming talked about:
Now - I can get why they want to do this - the whole idea of the insurance industry is to sell risk mitigation, so if they have an accessible data source which allows them to better risk-mitigate (thus better profit for the company) they will do this.
What I cringed at was one line, and this is where the moral lines for me start getting blurred:
"...predicted the only group that would object would be those who thought sharing [their private data] would lead to higher premiums, but they are in turn would be classed as high-risk for not partaking."
So the Insurance industry is effectively saying you are guilty until *you* prove innocence - if you don't give up your data (and they're talking real time stuff here) then your premiums go up.
I shake my head - but I can't say I'm surprised. And as much as I hope it doesn't get to this - I can't help but think it's already well underway.