[colug-432] Insurers track driver behavior via smartphones

Rick Hornsby richardjhornsby at gmail.com
Fri Sep 5 22:36:57 EDT 2014

On Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM, R P Herrold <herrold at owlriver.com> wrote:

> On Fri, 5 Sep 2014, tom wrote:
> > Probably will be put in engine management control units in the future
> Bluetooth enabled OBD devices are readily available [1], and
> are all that is needed to gateway a bridge to a cell phone,
> gps, and more.  Recording is already present in the OBD
> device's backend;

I want to upgrade my non-BT OBD-II monitor to a BT enabled one so it can
throw the data onto my phone.  I forget to take the current one out, plug
it into USB, fire up a Windows VM, download the information etc.  I already
have an iPhone app (Roadtrip) I've been using for several years to punch in
the ODO, volume, and price when I refuel.  It is one of those really
reliable, used on a regular basis apps that I'm glad I bought.  I'd like to
use the BT OBD-II to track other engine data as well though.

> explicit or covert 'phone home' is trivial
> at this point to implement; the NSA 'shopping catalog'
> disclosed by Snowden describes several approaches

Sell it as a way to:
>         - let a parent 'protect' a young driver from thinking
> they can 'get away' when out of sight of mom and dad ...
>         - reduce rates [Progressive does / did this -- a
> friend who signed up was identified as a lead-foot, jack
> rabbit, and 'race up to a stop' style driver; no rate savings
> for hime !!]
>         - a 'keyless' keying -- no one leaves a cell phone
> behind; permit registration of several on the vehicle, and one
> will never be locked out / forget keys, etc again
>         - the imagination boggles as to what marketing
> opportunities exist to remove yet more anonynimity

However.  I will never ever allow the insurance company or anyone else to
track that information.  It is none of their damn business.  Period.  My
driving -- provided I'm not being an idiot -- and my driving data belongs
to me and me alone.

I'm aware of the airbag module, and that it records crash data the
insurance company may try to use against me.  However, it seems to me that
both the module and the data it contains are mine.  I've wondered now and
again if I got into a wreck if I shouldn't remove that module before I let
them tow the car away.  I don't drive like an idiot, and have never had a
wreck against my record.  I just think it is none of the insurance
company's business unless I choose to share the information with them.

In the same manner, I will also never allow the power company to hook up
any devices that let them decide when I can run my A/C in exchange for some
kind of discount or free "smart" thermostat they get to have some say over.
 Not going to happen.  If I want to make my house so cold that it kills a
polar bear, as long as I pay the electric bill, that's my business.
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