Admiral, the car insurer, is today touting a new quotation system that uses Facebook data to profile drivers. Apparently Firstcarquote is designed to risk profile drivers without an insurance history in order to offer the “safer” ones a discount of up to 15%. Big brother? Thin end of a rather nasty wedge? Possibly, but what interests me is how this fits with the General Data Protection Regulation that will replace existing UK data protection law in 2018.
As a reminder, here’s the relevant paragraph from the new Regulation (para 1 of Article 20):
“Every natural person shall have the right not to be subject to a measure which produces legal effects concerning this natural person or significantly affects this natural person, and which is based solely on automated processing intended to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to this natural person or predict in particular the natural person’s performance at work, economic situation, location, health, personal preferences, reliability or behaviour.”
Which seems specifically designed to prevent precisely what Admiral are doing.
So will we see our first legal test of this very widely-drawn clause almost as soon as the Regulation comes into force? Without any ill-will towards Admiral, I have to say I rather hope so, because like many people I’m very keen to find out what 20.1 actually means in practice.
In the meantime, can I once again suggest you read about the GDPR before planning your own “big data” projects?