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Italy Looks Set to Introduce Insurance Black Boxes

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Italy Looks Set to Introduce Insurance Black Boxes


September 04, 2014

By Jonathan Keane, Contributing Writer

The Italian data protection authority has given a nod of approval to the first draft of new data protection rules that protect against insurance fraud in the country.

The new rules propose the collection of data from black boxes installed in cars, which are tracking devices that monitor the driver’s driving.

IVASS, Italy’s supervisory body, believes the technology can be used to identify “anomalies” as they put it and people that commit fraud when reporting accidents. IVASS also says that it will act as the data controller for the information collected under these new rules, should they come into effect.

However, there are numerous privacy concerns that have been raised by black box technology uses by insurance companies. Insurers in the U.K. though insist that such practices can be revoked but will be opt-out by default.

“This approval from the data protection authority [sic] is welcomed since this is one of the very few databases of such kind in Italy which might be quite useful to prevent frauds,” reports IPT Italy Blog.

The practice of using black box technology in insurance is also referred to as “telematics.” In the U.K. it is expected that up to half of all cars will be fitted with black boxes or some kind of telematics by 2020 according to the Boston Consulting Group.

It continues to draw many critics. “Forcing drivers to have a telematics device installed in their car, which is capable of recording and transmitting exactly where and when they are driving, is totally unacceptable,” says Emma Carr of Big Brother Watch, who quite clearly opposes insurance practice.

“There is a clear risk that once the telematics device is installed drivers will lose total control over who has access to their data and how they will use it,” she says.

It remains to be seen how the telematics proposals will pan out in Italy.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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