What you do behind the wheel, along with who you are traveling with, may soon be recorded by Allstate, as this insurance powerhouse recently secured a patent for what some are calling “spy” technology.
The patent, which is officially entitled traffic-based driving analysis, explains that this technology would use the sensors, radar and/or cameras already in vehicles to monitor and record various data about motorists, their actions and the environment inside of vehicle cabins.
In fact, just some of the data that this technology could purportedly record include information regarding:
- The driver’s physiological state, including his or her heart rate, blood pressure, head position, eye level and seat position
- The driver’s actions behind the wheel, with the main issue here being evaluating when drivers may be multitasking behind the wheel or failing to comply with traffic laws
- The environment inside of the cabin, including the number and types of other vehicle occupants, the volume of the sound system and even whether alcohol may be present in the air within in the cabin.
How Will Allstate Use this Technology?
At this point, it’s not entirely clear just how expansive the data recording aspect of this technology will go if Allstate puts its new patent to use. What has been proposed or discussed to date, however, is that the insurer may collect data regarding:
- It’s policyholders
- The people who ride in vehicles with policyholders
- Motorists and pedestrians traveling within a certain range of policyholders.
As a spokesperson for the insurer has explained, the purpose of this monitoring technology would be to identify and analyze traffic conditions and driver behaviors to promote the safest possible driving experience.
Critics Weigh In
Not everyone is convinced, however, that Allstate has purely humanitarian reasons for patenting this technology. In fact, just some of the concerns critics have raised include that the insurance provider could:
- Gather sensitive personal data from people
- Collect data about people who have not consented to such monitoring, creating issues regarding privacy violations
- Sell some or all of the data it collects to third parties.
What do you think about this technology? Would you give up some privacy for the purported safety this technology could offer? Post your opinions on our Google+ & Facebook pages.
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