Thursday 3 November 2016

Admiral to set car insurance prices based on Facebook posts


One of the biggest insurance companies in Britain is to use social media to analyse the personalities of car owners and set the real price of their insurance.

The unprecedented move highlights the start of a new era for how companies use online personal data and will start a debate about privacy.

Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for personality traits that are linked to safe driving. For example, individuals who are identified as conscientious and well-organised will score well.

Section 3.15 of Facebook's platform policy states that the site's data should not be used to "make decisions about eligibility, including whether to approve or reject an application or how much interest to charge on a loan".

Admiral and Facebook remain in talks about trying to revive the product, with industry insiders arguing about who was to blame for the last-minute climbdown. Facebook is understood to have known about firstcarquote for months and the product has been operational on the internet for weeks in a test form.

Privacy campaigners welcomed Admiral's reversal but said that it was only the start of other companies trying to use personal data in a similar way.

Simon Morrissey, head of data and privacy at law firm Lewis Silkin, said: "This is the tip of a very large iceberg that consumers and businesses are increasingly going to encounter. The challenge with these sorts of solutions is that users may find it increasingly difficult to avoid opting in as the financial disadvantage in doing so becomes so significant that users have no other option but to hand over access to their data."

Admiral planned to analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car drivers or owners to look for personality traits linked to safe driving. These drivers would be offered discounts of up to £350 a year.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.