Ford Hoping Drivers Will Forgo Privacy for Auto Insurance Discounts
today at 10:02 am
No one will ever admit to being a bad driver, or a bad lover. In the case of the former, typically your driving record speaks for you, but now there is a new, additional level of monitoring and evaluation that has come along.
It’s not just Big Tech and online media companies that want to collect your data these days, the automotive industry is getting in on the act as well. After all, every new car these days is highly computerized, and any automobile with a navigational system is tracking you through satellite data. And Ford motor company is banking on the idea that you’ll forgo some of your privacy in exchange for cheaper auto insurance.
The idea is that you’ll get discounted insurance, in some cases up to 40 percent, and that the concept of insurance will become more appealing now. The trade-off is giving more of your data to a third party, and of course what they do with that data remains to be seen. Given what we know about Facebook, Google and other tech/media companies, it’s easy to skeptical.
According to EnGadget, the technology: “tracks distance, your aggressiveness with pedals, idle time and night driving. You’ll get a better deal if you’re a gentle commuter than a foot-to-the-floor enthusiast, in other words.”
As is the case with all data collection and tracking services, they try to make it as easy as possible for you to sign up. Both the Ford and Lincoln apps arrive with some of the details already filled in for you. This type of insurance is now available now in 39/50 states, with a belief that it will be universal eventually. Funny, how we didn’t hear much about this feature, or its bugs, earlier this month when the Chicago Auto Show was in full swing. Of course, we didn’t hear about much at all from the 2020 CAS.
Chicago’s Auto Show is behind only Detroit in terms of importance, and when it comes to size, it’s the biggest in the country. This year however, it was an event that had to compete with the NBA All-Star Game for attention within this city. Perhaps Ford’s new initiative isn’t all that unique after all? Maybe this is the new world we live in? Where “data is the new water” as many a pundit have said?
The most important thing to remember is that nothing is free (certainly social media truly is not), including car insurance discounts. Everything comes with a price, and the more data companies have on you, the more effectively they will market to you.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.
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