Your personal telemetry is being monitored, and it is being analyzed, and it is being stored. The stated goal is to reward those who make healthy choices in the case of John Hancock and those who drive safely in the case of Progressive. But then there is the sharing of that information with third parties, which goes hand-in-hand with the ever-present risk of a future data breach. Not to mention the penalties unintentionally incurred for those who live in the countryside (or on steep hills and drive older vehicles) and brake for animals, as “hard braking” is counted against you.
It seems that these types of programs may well become the norm, and that this future is closer than any of us may wish it to appear. Telemedicine and fitness are two areas of epic growth, and a place where tremendous benefits can be made, but medical device security has been late to the party, and application security issues are daily fodder for the cybersecurity news cycle.
As NBC News points out, this type of data monitoring will also allow the companies to segregate their customers into more finally tuned groups, and perhaps even expelling customers who opt not to participate, or hiking premiums so high as to force them out.
Tandy Thomas, speaking to Canadian Broadcast Corporation noted, “We’re at a pivotal point now where the technology is moving faster than our ability to fully think through the moral and ethical implications. There always needs to be a level of caution in thinking about how this is going to be used.” She also noted that, “It has huge potential for bringing about consumer good and societal wellbeing, but we need to make sure that it’s actually what’s happening and that it’s not being distorted in a way that could lead to unintended negative eventualities.”