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Trust an Insurance Company's "Drive-Cam?"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-voyeurs-here dept.

Privacy 480

ramen99 writes "Our new car insurance company offered us discounts for our teenage driver if we agree to install a 'drive-cam' that records driving habits and wirelessly transmits video footage to a 'neutral driving coach' for evaluation and comment. While this might be great to monitor a new teen driver, it will also monitor other adult drivers. The insurance company claims that they would never use any information obtained to consider changes in insurance rates, but that really sounds unbelievable. Would you give up your privacy to save some dough? Installation is free, and the camera mounts just under the rear-view mirror. Something seems fishy about this..." Especially when, according to a British insurance firm, computer engineers are most likely to crash (sent in by antdude).

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Private Car Cameras (4, Insightful)

slifox (605302) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403663)

I will never put a camera in my car that wirelessly transmits to anyone. I think a lot of people would have problems with this...

However, I've always thought it would be a good a idea to put small cameras in my own car (probably hooked up to a car pc), set to record on motion and store the past few days of video. These would be for my own use only -- I'd never allow a third party unrestricted access, but it might be useful if there's ever any question about what happened in an accident.

They're introducing this product by initially marketing it for teens... as if it is somehow more acceptable to spy on them than anyone else. I'm sure this product will eventually be marketed towards all drivers, but if they introduced it initially like that, it might not get as favorable a response (maybe)...

As for "computer engineers are most likely to crash" ... correlation does not imply causation

Re:Private Car Cameras (2, Informative)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403715)

Would that recording from your camera be admissable if the recording system is not inside a black box that you cannot open yourself without leaving traces?

Re:Private Car Cameras (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404423)

Why wouldn't it be? It'd be pretty hard to engineer a video that looks like it was taken from a dash cam and recreate all the proper conditions (lighting, pedestrians, weather, etc.) perfectly - or even good enough to fool a trained expert.

Hollywood still can't make photo-realistic CGI, so why would anyone think an individual person could?

Re:Private Car Cameras (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403723)

They're introducing this product by initially marketing it for teens... as if it is somehow more acceptable to spy on them than anyone else. I'm sure this product will eventually be marketed towards all drivers, but if they introduced it initially like that, it might not get as favorable a response (maybe)...

I'm guessing it'll go like this:

1. teens
2. public employees
3. private employees
4. you

(note, for many #1-3 will already be you.)

Re:Private Car Cameras (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403807)

Except one of their partners [teensafedriver.com] is Drivecam.com [drivecam.com]

Drivecam advertises a behavior-based risk mitigation program for fleet drivers.

And their site lists a bunch of private companies that utilize their technology.

I think the idea is right, but the order should be:

  1. private employees
  2. teens
  3. public employees
  4. private citizens who have received traffic citations; as a probation technique
  5. private citizens; get a discount from certain insurance companies
  6. private citizens; required to have by some insurance companies
  7. all private citizens; required by law in all vehicles

Re:Private Car Cameras (4, Funny)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404019)

I've had too many assholes hit my car, so it goes:

1) Me
2) Them
3) Others
4) Employees of anyone
5) Profit (?)

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403727)

Careful - you could be subpoenaed for the footage just like lawyers are going after cell phone tower info to establish things like time/place and speed.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403759)

I think a lot of people would have problems with this

No, the ISFJs and ESFJs which make up most of the population won't mind at all, and will trot out that "if you have nothing to hide, then ALL privacy concerns are moot" line.
Slashdotters are not representative of the general population.

Re:Private Car Cameras (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404405)

Slashdotters are not representative of the general population.

True, the summary asks would you give up your privacy, for the general population the answer is yes, but here on Slashdot it's a no unless it's a Democrat trying to take it away.

Re:Private Car Cameras (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403789)

Why do the slashmongs trot out the "correlation does not imply causation" line as if it's some deep wisdom?

Who cares about causation here? Certainly not the insurance companies, they just want to identify factors correlating with crashes.

Re:Private Car Cameras (2, Insightful)

shakah (78118) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404219)

Why do the slashmongs trot out the "correlation does not imply causation" line as if it's some deep wisdom?

Who cares about causation here? Certainly not the insurance companies, they just want to identify factors correlating with crashes.

Maybe for "slashmongs" like yourself who apparently don't get the (not-so-subtle) difference between causation and correlation?

Insurance companies certainly care about causation, not simply correlation, e.g. if they instituted a "what did you have for breakfast monitor" and found that 20% of their driving population sample ate Brand X cereals before having an accident (aha! correlation!), I doubt they'd offer discounts for households that swore off Brand X cereal.

Re:Private Car Cameras (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404365)

If they instituted a "what did you have for breakfast monitor" and found that 20% of their driving population sample ate Brand X cereals before having an accident (aha! correlation!), I doubt they'd offer discounts for households that swore off Brand X cereal.

I guess you've never worked for an insurance company, this would not seem unreasonable at all to many of the actuaries I know.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0, Flamebait)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403809)

I would. I don't care if anyone knows where I go. If it saves me an extra 15%, I'm totally willing to go for it. Seriously, what do I have to lose? People knowing that' I've driven to work? There are some things I don't want people to know about me, but I *really* don't care if they know where I've been. Anyone can find that out just by following me if they really care, and it's not all that interesting, honestly.

Of course, this is assuming that it actually saves me money. If people start finding that it is costing them more somehow, I wouldn't do it.

Re:Private Car Cameras (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403919)

There are some things I don't want people to know about me, but I *really* don't care if they know where I've been.

You see, that is the view of the same people that normally claim "I have nothing to hide". Well, sir, I have everything to hide. If they record from your car, the don't just know where you go. They'll probably end up knowing where you go, who you go with, when you did it, how you got there, how long you stayed, what you carried with you, which way you go to work, what school your kids go to, what time and where you pick them up, what you talk about in the car with your wife, what you talk about when you call sb from the car,... But here's the problem: if people accept this already, then they can safely suggest the next a-little-bit-more-strict piece of legislation. One day it will be "installing a GPS in the box", next it will be "Allowing FBI to access the recordings if a judge says so", then the same but "without a judge saying so, as long as its related to the case", then we'll have Jack Bauer accessing car recordings, then somebody will upload one of this videos to youtube, then they will decide to send the videos to the FBI first,...

The fifth amendment of the US constitution says I have the right not to say something that may incriminate me. The problem is that, if I allow a camera in my car, I'm providing a potential witness against myself in every single situation, whether I am accused of something or not.

Seriously, people, all phone calls in the State of Virginia are already recorded! How long do you think it'll take for this to be used to control us?

Re:Private Car Cameras (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404139)

Sure do that. Let's see how your "extra 15%" turn out when your rates go up because of every little thing. Drove too fast around a corner? 1% increase per incident. Drove too close to another vehicle? 2% increase per incident. Almost had a crash but still averted it? 25% increase.

Oh sorry I forget, they said they would never ever do that. Yes insurance companies are trustworthy.

Re:Private Car Cameras (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404409)

Ditto. And if you discover the insurance company raised your rates after you install the camera, then just switch companies. That's one of the advantages of not having a monopoly-based system.

Re:Private Car Cameras (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403819)

I will never put a camera in my car that wirelessly transmits to anyone. I think a lot of people would have problems with this...

So you never have a cell phone with a built-in camera that you ever place in your car...? :)

Re:Private Car Cameras (3, Insightful)

slifox (605302) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404067)

I knew someone would bring up cellphones. However, it's relatively hard for it to capture much useful video from inside my pocket...

Also, my phone belongs to me, not my phone company, and it's open source. Meaning, it's pretty unlikely someone will actually use it to snoop on me. If they can, it'd certainly be a targeted attack, not a broad monitor-every-driver-always situation like we're discussing here. It's next to impossible to defend against a targeted attack, especially when it comes to computers (e.g. cell phones)... but that's not the issue here.

Re:Private Car Cameras (2, Insightful)

zmooc (33175) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404029)

However, I've always thought it would be a good a idea to put small cameras in my own car (...) might be useful if there's ever any question about what happened in an accident.

The question is: useful to who? Chances are your cam gets you in bigger trouble than it could ever save you from.

Re:Private Car Cameras (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404063)

Given mortality rates being the highest for drivers 16-24, what would be a better alternative? Insurance rates for that age group are insanely high! So I think the insurance company, having to reduce its risk and still remain competitive, came-up with this idea. As a parent, I would definitively go for it. If my kid doesn't like it, let him/her pay the insurance.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404119)

Given mortality rates being the highest for drivers 16-24....

[citation needed]

Re:Private Car Cameras (5, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404245)

Given mortality rates being the highest for drivers 16-24, what would be a better alternative?

Actual driver training that might reduce the accident rate rather than just attempts to apportion blame better ?

Re:Private Car Cameras (1)

m_frankie_h (240122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404201)

As for "computer engineers are most likely to crash" ... correlation does not imply causation

So what? This is insurance, not science. They are not trying to create a grand unified theory of car crash probability, they just want to predict the probability of any given driver crashing. Correlation is good enough for that.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404203)

From a rating perspective, causation is not required, just causation. That is why most most insurance companies now use credit as a rating variable. Drivers with poor credit tend to be riskier drivers. Do all no. I have a bankruptcy issue, from my fathers end of life cart. Currently my credit is poor. I have never had a ticket and only been in one accident, where the other person got into a turning lane, thinking it was the driving lane and slammed into me while I was stopped to make a left turn.
Many insurance companies currently are using education as a rating modifier. Many are starting to ask for professional information in order to see if there is a correlation. In rating we do not link to causation, just identify correlations that our competitors may not be aware of. That allows us to make sure we price the product correctly, while hoping our competitors miss it and under charges for the carried risk.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404213)

Heres a ton of car cameras....... some gps trackers too

http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/car-security-surveillance-system.html

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404343)

I would like one, but one that records the plates and the drivers of all my friendly neighbors sharing the road.

Like the ladies putting on makeup while doing 75 on the freeway. Or the guy reading his newspaper and drinking coffee while also driving down the freeway.

It is pretty scary out there once you start noticing how Darwin has failed to remove some individuals from the pool.

Re:Private Car Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404345)

It would not be up to you if you wanted to share this information. If you were involved in a crash and the police were not sure who was at fault would they not have a right to subpoena the digital evidence?
when WOULD they have a right to subpoena? The answer is whenever a judge decided he wanted more information.

Engineers play video games (0)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403667)

From TFA: Computer engineers have the worst road accident records while farmers are the safest drivers, it has been disclosed.

Computer engineers are likely to be gamers (the article didn't mention whether or not gamer was considered a profession) and farmers think that 15 miles an hour is fast.

Re:Engineers play video games (4, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403697)

...and farmers think that 15 miles an hour is fast...

You're from the city, ye? Perhaps the fact that farmers generally live in rural areas with less congested roads could have something to do with it?

Re:Engineers play video games (3, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403745)

Not to mention that most people growing up in farming areas (at least here in the UK, not sure about other countries) have usually got at least five years more driving experience when they go to sit their driving tests than people from other areas. If you can't drive a tractor, and fit, maintain and operate all the implements for it by the time you're 11, then it's special school time...

Re:Engineers play video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404349)

How dare you inject logic into statistical analysis! If insurance companies allowed themselves to do that then they wouldn't have an excuse for charging pretty much double the price to males because they'd realize that males do substantially more driving and for longer hours.

Lost in translation (4, Funny)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403747)

Sometimes the media rewords things for a story, and the original meaning is inadvertently lost in the translation.

The actual statistic is that Microsoft engineers are responsible for most crashes.

Field Mod (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403687)

it will also monitor other adult drivers.

Not if you put a PostIt note over it while you're driving.

Re:Field Mod (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403761)

There just might be a clause in the contract that you can't disable the camera....

Re:Field Mod (1)

Luke_22 (1296823) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403773)

it will also monitor other adult drivers.

Not if you put a PostIt note over it while you're driving.

then they say the contract is broken and make you pay a fine or refuse to pay if something happens.
and what if the next thing they ask is odb [wikipedia.org] recording?
...
oh, and obviously recording someone without having access to registration unless something happens automagically makes him drive safer. yeah, sure.

Black boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403711)

All they need are "black boxes", some cars have them already, it shows all the mechanics of the car prior to a crash, like were you accellerating up until the crash and stuff like that. It records the information they need without violating privacy (in the form of, well, we caught you fucking someone underage lol).

Re:Black boxes (2, Interesting)

Yert (25874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403787)

Most big trucks have them already, as well. It's damn near impossible to drive for a company nowadays and not have your every move (and several dozen engine "performance" metrics - like MPG) monitored and recorded. I've talked to a few drivers who were canned for not getting a target MPG - and almost all trucks on the road have hard and soft speed limiters set.

After a while, even when you own the truck, you accept it as part of the cost of doing business.

Re:Black boxes (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403873)

i work with truckies all day every day, and i can assure you it's because about 90% of them are morons who NEED constant monitoring. it's just like running a prep school. while it'd be a valid whinge that they do get the shit end of the stick, all i say is, you should have paid more attention in class and avoided having to do shit house jobs like drive trucks because your a dumbass.

Re:Black boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403885)

Better be conservative and bump that up to 100%.

Re:Black boxes (3, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403921)

all i say is, you should have paid more attention in class and avoided having to do shit house jobs like drive trucks because your a dumbass.

Is the situation in the US really like that? I travel most of the year and have become a great fan of hitchhiking. A lot of my lifts in Europe and Central Asia come from truck drivers, and a lot of them are quite well-educated people, often with university degrees, who began driving trucks because of uncertain economic times. It's not like there's much other work to do in certain places, especially the former Soviet Union.

I wouldn't call the job shit house work either. While it is monotonous, the money is a lot better than you'd expect, and the amount of time drivers have to actually work is continually reduced by new legislation.

Re:Black boxes (0, Flamebait)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403995)

Is the situation like that? You mean, you think truckers elsewhere in the world are respected and educated? Are janitors in Europe also well educated people from universities? Hitchhiking is also considered low in the U.S. just like truck driving.

Re:Black boxes (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404205)

Are janitors in Europe also well educated people from universities?

Quite often. I take it you've never been to the former Soviet Union? People with doctorates in philology or arts now support themselves by driving taxis, smuggling cigarettes over borders, or yes, even mopping floors.

Re:Black boxes (2, Funny)

Paxtez (948813) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404133)

i work with truckies all day every day, and i can assure you it's because about 90% of them are morons who NEED constant monitoring. it's just like running a prep school [fragment]. while it'd be a valid whinge that they do get the shit end of the stick, all i say is, you should have paid more attention in class and avoided having to do shit house jobs like drive trucks because your a dumbass.

Hey Pot, have you met Kettle?

Ride a bicycle (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404141)

Ride a bicycle and you can extend 90% to all drivers. They speed, pass too close and are very impatient.

They claim they pay for the roads when in fact in the UK the roads are paid for by a combination of council tax and income tax.

Fit speed limiters and black box recorders on all cars. Drivers just can't be trusted to obey the law.

Re:Ride a bicycle (3, Insightful)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404269)

Fit speed limiters and black box recorders on all cars. Drivers just can't be trusted to obey the law.

What about putting cameras in every home then, since people cannot be trusted to obey the law?

It is a slippery slope.

Re:Ride a bicycle (1)

ngg (193578) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404397)

Fit speed limiters and black box recorders on all cars. Drivers just can't be trusted to obey the law.

What about putting cameras in every home then, since people cannot be trusted to obey the law? It is a slippery slope.

Are the laws people break in their homes likely to cause me to die? No? Then I guess it isn't really the same, now is it?

Re:Ride a bicycle (1)

Nein Volts (1635979) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404299)

In America they are worse. Drivers don't have a problem driving on your side, going though red lights, and cutting in front of you when ever they wish. Bicyclists help by going though stop signs, blocking your way to pass them, and getting into traffic in front of you, making you lock up your brakes to avoid the. I welcome cams! Maybe we will once again be honest, courteous drivers! People act like jerks behind the wheel!

Re:Ride a bicycle (2, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404391)

Ride a bicycle and you can extend 90% to all drivers. They speed, pass too close and are very impatient.

Let's have them for cyclists too, so that it's all recorded when they swerve in front of cars, nip up the inside of vehicles that are turning left, run through red lights and cycle on the pavement at dangerous speeds close to pedestrians.

Cyclists are all - without exception - the most dangerous road users.

Subpoena (5, Insightful)

SJ2000 (1128057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403737)

http://www.teensafedriver.com/faqs.htm#13 [teensafedriver.com]

If a participant is involved in an accident, will anyone besides parents and their teens have access to the audio and video?
It is possible American Family might request Teen Safe Driver output from customers in some situations involving the claims process, for instance, as part of an accident investigation. The information also is subject to being subpoenaed by other parties in a legal proceeding.

Which in reality means the very people you wouldn't want to show the video to will be able to see it.

Re:Subpoena (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403979)

If a participant is involved in an accident, will anyone besides parents and their teens have access to the audio and video?

"Im sorry, we can't give you those recordings. We have the to consider privacy of your children". (translation : If you can scrutinize the recordings maybe you can find something that will contradict our "Its your own fault, we don't pay" verdict, and we can't have that)

A few things. One : its easy to start with pushing it on the children because parents seem to have less consideration about their childrens privacy than their own (with pretty-much the same arguments as the gouverment uses towards their voters ...).
Two : A permanent feed to the insurance-company is not needed at all. They have not got the man-power to look at all those drivers (nor do they want to spend all that money), so most likely all its used for is to be able to, after the fact, create a complilation about all the mistakes they can find to write you off as an un-fit driver (remember, its about money, not safe driving).

I can have a kind of agreement to cameras that record the last 10 to 15 seconds leading up to a crash (and a few seconds after) which is stored on-board and only accessible to the owner/driver (so the driver can use it to supply evidence to him not being the causer of the accident). If the other driver thinks he's innocent too he's free to supply his cameras contents.

Capcha : confess. How delightfully fitting.

Re:Subpoena (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404083)

Which in reality means the very people you wouldn't want to show the video to will be able to see it.

I'm a responsible driver, and I find it more likely that I'd WANT to have hard evidence when the other guy starts lying about the circumstances of an accident.

Or better yet, when a cop gives you a bullshit ticket. When you're in court, if it's your word versus the cop's, the cop wins. If it's the camera versus the cop, you might have a chance.

New Deduction/Premium Strategy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403753)

Insurance policies have a way of reflecting your driving habits without you realizing it. The thinking goes, for what reasons would you not want a camera: A) Privacy B) You are a bad driver. At the moment, I'm not sure what privacy concerns you might have unless you like to shag a lot on the hood of your car. I would welcome comments on the potential privacy issues myself.

The idea is exactly the same with regard to premiums/deductibles. If you know you are a safe driver, you opt to pay a lower yearly rate because the chance of you crashing is low, so you can afford to pay more when a crash does happen. If you crash often, you opt to pay higher yearly so that when those frequent car crashes happen, you end up paying less. The camera strategy is based on the same principle.

A safe driver has nothing to fear, takes the camera, and pays less. There are other companies that even deploy accelerometers to determine if you practice safe driving - easy acceleration, not too much hard braking, etc, and reward good driving. As a young driver I would love any way to reduce insurance because I'm paying for all the other people screwing up a lot in my age bracket.

Re:New Deduction/Premium Strategy (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403891)

The problem is that these 'discounts' match a price increase of the same amount when the technology is ready for the general population. One year, your health insurance provider will give you a $10/month break on your premiums if you sign a 'I do not smoke' form. The next year, the rates will go up by $10/month, or more.

The year after that, the rates go up yet again. They then tell your employer that if any employees are seen smoking on company grounds, they'll double their premiums. Suddenly, you can't smoke within view distance of your work building.

A few months later, they start blood pressure/cholesterol/insulin/weight monitoring. With a discount, of course, if you choose to opt-in.

Insurance is a gambling game. The company is the dealer, and we, the consumers, are the players. We belly up to the table, place our bets, and the dealer gives us our cards. Of course, they've been allowed to stack the deck with their own cards and change the rules around a little bit, because let's face it, you're playing in their casino, under their rules.

This is why people have such a problem with insurance companies. You know, you pay your premiums for five years, make one or two claims, and both of them are auto-rejected, making you call and beg for them to cover it, so you don't have to pay thousands of dollars for a procedure that took five minutes.

Re:New Deduction/Premium Strategy (4, Insightful)

bromodrosis (639957) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404065)

A safe driver has nothing to fear, takes the camera, and pays less.

This is a fallacy in line with "innocent people having nothing to fear from the government" that we hear as justification for illegal wiretaps, which is patent bullshit. If I get in a wreck and it's my fault, my policy (typically) gets reviewed, maybe canceled and my premiums go up. Insurance companies serve me, not the other way around. I've had one ticket in my last 20 years of driving in a large, congested metro area and I sure as hell don't want my insurance company watching me drive.

VLAD FARTED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403755)

YOU'RE GODDAMN RIGHT HE DID

Will be added to you tax ... (4, Insightful)

g00ey (1494205) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403767)

The next step is to put equipment on your body that continuously monitors your activities where each Jaywalk and other minor infringements are added to your tax. The government will also add penalty fees for each offending word that comes out of your mouth, pretty much like Demolition Man.

Re:Will be added to you tax ... (1)

Yert (25874) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403803)

If they ticketed jaywalkers here in Memphis, we'd actually have a decent budget surplus. :/

Re:Will be added to you tax ... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403905)

At least until the jaywalk riots of 2010 anyway.

Re:Will be added to you tax ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404225)

bike messengers would take yet another blow

Re:Will be added to you tax ... (1)

herojig (1625143) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404251)

"In" your body is more likely, at birth." It's the beginning of the end for all freedom, real and perceived.

Why tax? (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404413)

Way too slow. And it does not account for those most prominent jaywalkers - children.

Instead - put sensors in the middle of the road - except in the areas designated for crossing.
Walk over a sensor - get a fine charged instantly to your mobile phone.

- It would also charge drivers? Not if they turn their phones off - they shouldn't be talking/texting and driving anyway.
- It wouldn't charge people with their phones off or with a protective layer around the phone? Well... If they are really willing to take that much preparation just to cross the street in a non-designated spot... they will probably pay enough attention so as not to be run over by an incoming truck. Which is what jaywalking fine is there to prevent anyway, right?
- It would only charge people with mobile phones? Sure... it might not work great in Myanmar [nationmaster.com] but considering that there are about 3.5 billion users now, with predictions of about 4.5 billion by 2012... [cellular-news.com]
- It would take years to implement? Exactly! By then EVERYONE will have a mobile phone. Or two. Or three.

 
What other minor infringements did you have in mind? Spit it out. Lets get a brainstorming session going.
This IS Slashdot after all. If anyone can cook-up a way to use technology in new and oppressive ways - it's us.

It's simple (5, Insightful)

Klivian (850755) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403797)

Privacy issues and other consideration does not matter, it boils down to one simple rule, never trust a insurance company!

Re:It's simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403959)

never trust a insurance company

Except when it comes to the 'Health' industry, it seems.

Re:It's simple (5, Informative)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404033)

Especially when it contradicts itself....

Per the slashdot post - ""Our new car insurance company offered us discounts for our teenage driver if we agree to install a 'drive-cam'"

Per the link provided in it.

"Will teens or parents participating in Teen Safe Driver get a discount on insurance?

A. No. While there are many financial and non-financial benefits from participating in Teen Safe Driver, American Family does not have enough information at this point to provide an insurance discount to participants. "

One simple rule (4, Insightful)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403805)

If you feel like it would be an unacceptable invasion of your privacy, it's an invasion of a teenager's privacy too. Seems like every time I turn on the radio I hear ads pushing ATTs ability to GPS track your teenager's cellphone or a banks advertising their service to e-mail you with the details of every purchase your teen makes using their debt card in real time. I'm adding this car camera to the same category.

I wouldn't want it in my car so don't put it in a teenager's either.

Re:One simple rule (5, Insightful)

Hazelfield (1557317) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404221)

Please, mod parent up! This is spot on.

People who think it's acceptable to monitor their teens' driving habits, cellphone position or bank transactions have an awful basic view of their children. I could understand such measures for small children up to 12 years of age or so, but after that they should be taught trust and responsibility. How are you supposed to grow up as a responsible adult if you have your parents watching and commenting your every move?

The trouble with granting your children privacy is that you also run the risk of them doing things you don't like. They might lie to you. They might go to a parties and drink alcohol. They might even have sex (oh noes!). But this is something that is bound to happen sooner or later anyway, and it's impossible to stop teens from being teens. The solution is not to monitor your children 24/7, but to give them the knowledge and ability to handle those situations. Teach them the risks of alcohol in itself and drunk driving in particular. Tell them about STDs, birth control and safe sex. Let them know when you find out they've lied about their whereabouts and give them a reasonable punishment (e.g. not borrowing the car again for month or so). Better yet, take the opportunity to talk about said things.

As it happens, I don't doubt that Teen Safe Driver works when it comes to reducing accidents. I just think it's an awful way of raising your children.

Re:One simple rule (1)

stasike (1063564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404271)

Please, mod parent up! This is spot on.

Nice pun!

Don't know how it is in Britain, (2, Informative)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403859)

but here in The Netherlands, many "computer engineers" (I don't know how broad they take that term) working for a *contractor* drive a lease-car. When "we" have an accident, it is common practice to file the complete claim, because "we" don't have to pay a dime.
I can imagine that *most* people with their own cars will scratch their heads once or twice before filing the claim, as doing so could deprive them from no-claim bonus of said insurance company.

Re:Don't know how it is in Britain, (1)

Jerry Smith (806480) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403999)

but here in The Netherlands, many "computer engineers" (I don't know how broad they take that term) working for a *contractor* drive a lease-car. When "we" have an accident, it is common practice to file the complete claim, because "we" don't have to pay a dime. I can imagine that *most* people with their own cars will scratch their heads once or twice before filing the claim, as doing so could deprive them from no-claim bonus of said insurance company.

Detachering, you mean? 'ICT-secondments' would fit the description, but i don't know if it's a word. Yay for foreign languages.

Re:Don't know how it is in Britain, (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404371)

I'll tell you how it works in Great Britain :)

10 years ago my then girlfriend moved in. I added her to my insurance policy.

2 year ago we got married. My insurance premium dropped by 25% because statistically, married couples crash less.

It's all statistics.

No Discount (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29403871)

While I wouldn't be willing to sell out anyway, it's worth noting that no discount is offered. The program amounts to "let us spy on you in your car and in return we'll...um, spy on you in your car, but won't charge you anything for the privilege."

Will teens or parents participating in Teen Safe Driver get a discount on insurance?

A. No. While there are many financial and non-financial benefits from participating in Teen Safe Driver, American Family does not have enough information at this point to provide an insurance discount to participants.

Actually, I'd be perfectly happy to have one of these in my car...when I take it to the track. It sounds like it would be a really great way to capture all the good bits of a track day, for free, no cheap video camera and duct tape required. Plus, the drive would be scored and assessed by professionals so presumably they'd give me useful hints, like turning late in to corner 3 so I can get back on the power early for the deceptively fast sweeper of corner 4, and to stay flat out over the rise before corner 12. Thank you American Family Insurance!

Three biggest lies (5, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403887)

The cheque is in the mail
I won't cum in your mouth
The insurance company would never use any information obtained to consider changes in insurance rates

Re:Three biggest lies (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404315)

The insurance company would never use any information obtained to consider changes in insurance rates

Well, there is a difference between changing the insurance rate (lowering it) and issuing new rates (raising it). So, they would never use any information obtained to consider changing the insurance rate.

Would you give up your privacy to save some dough? (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403895)

Unfortunately in a world where most people are strapped for cash at the end of the month or way before, there's *nothing* we won't be giving up to save some dough. Those who run our economy and politics have learned well: never take everything from your minions or they may revolt, leave them with barely enough to survive while threatening to take it little by little and they'll happily shackle themselves just to keep going.
This trend won't reverse, so get used to it.

Would you give up your privacy to save some dough? (1)

uwnav (1009705) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403915)

I think you answered your own question. If you're 25 and getting your ass kicked by insurance rates. A 'neutral driving coach' can watch me drive to work and back all they want..if it means i have to spend less $$ and if I find the need to secure my privacy.. I could get rid of the camera!

Do it like Gmail. (2, Insightful)

HKcastaway (985110) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403923)

Follow Googles Gmail model, Instead of giving a discount they should give people free petrol. People prefer tot receive than to save. As Gmail has proven will sell our their privacy for receiving something.

Bound to work.

Would you give up your privacy to save some dough? (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403935)

Are you stupid? NEVER!

Re:Would you give up your privacy to save some dou (1)

HKcastaway (985110) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403937)

God stop being naive.

You are already bound to handing out your privacy with many sites online. So what is the difference?

All that they ave to do is make you feel they are your friend, like give you free petrol or some gimmick you perceive has value, which you will preferably not use.

Re:Would you give up your privacy to save some dou (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404385)

I may be bound to be honest, but then who knows if I really am? No, I don't give away personal information on the web, not even anecdotes about my life. Do you?!?

Coming soon to an "Ask Slashdot" near you ... (3, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403965)

Our new electronics company offered us discounts on our computer if we agree to install a 'surf-cam' that records computer usage habits and wirelessly transmits the data to a 'neutral computer coach' for evaluation and comment, to prevent falling victim to fraud or downloading viruses ...

Re:Coming soon to an "Ask Slashdot" near you ... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404335)

Well, this idea is already around. A Nigerian security firm offered to protect my identity and all my money if I sent them the originals of every form of identification I have, and transferred all my bank accounts to them. Since then, nobody's been able to steal anything from me!

Easy (4, Insightful)

Huntr (951770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29403975)

No. Next question.

double standards (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404013)

If you're happy to have your teen's driving monitored, why would you not be happy to have your own monitored in the same way? Don't be a hypocrite and treat people with the same level of respect (and privacy) that you expect yourself. I'm sure your parents didn't baulk at the extra insurance premiums when you started to drive their car.

Re:double standards (1)

m_frankie_h (240122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404239)

Actually, I _insist_ on monitoring myself while driving.

Our company has a policy of NO overnight stays. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404057)

Our company has a policy of NO overnight stays in hotels unless the job has been scheduled to be completed over more than a day which has only happened once in 4 years.

This means I have to get up at 5am to drive 300 miles from one end of the country to another over motorways usually on the damn M6 then over twisty country roads for 4 to 5 hrs arrive at one of the many generic industrial parks to do a days work and then drive back usually arriving after 10pm all without going over the legal speed limits.

There is no food allowance so its sandwiches or get fleeced at the service station but then the foods is so bad I usually skip eatng.

We are also expected to work usual office hours during the days before and after customer visits no exceptions. Despite this I am often so exhausted sometimes I cannot even make it to work on time.

After making an insurance claim due to damage caused by an unknown driver find that I have to pay an enormous excess, which the company refuse to pay, this is leaving me frustrated and angry.

Why? It saves the company money, they can charge customers less and be more competative which leads to a bigger a profit.

Really what they are doing is shifting the cost of doing business on to their employees but they lose out on none financial assets like loyalty, customer satisfaction and the rest.

I really enjoy my work and would rather stay than more on else where but polices like these seem mean and dangerous.

Re:Our company has a policy of NO overnight stays. (5, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404093)

Sorry, but you're an idiot.

You're being forced to work under unreasonable and dangerous conditions.
You are risking your life and others on the road (no sleep, exhaustion, skip eating = eventually you will fall asleep and/or pass out on a major motorway).
Your employers have absolutely zero care for you at all - to the point where what you have said suggest they are actually, knowingly, breaking several employment laws. That's how much respect they have for you.

What they are doing is *not* shifting the cost - it's called finding some idiot to work his arse off and pay you for doing one page of tax paperwork and not caring about *anything* else that happens to them, including if they kill themselves or others.

Get a brain. Get the hell out. If I knew you, I'd report you AND your employer for a) dangerous driving, b) employment-related offences. That's *not* a job. It's slave labour. Screw the "credit crunch", there are millions of jobs out there that pay the same and don't involve that crap. Where the hell are your brains?

Re:Our company has a policy of NO overnight stays. (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404341)

Where the hell are your brains?

On the side of the road, next to the one belonging to the person he just ran over.

Re:Our company has a policy of NO overnight stays. (1)

stonertom (831884) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404187)

It sounds like you are breaking the EU working time directive [wikipedia.org] . You can legally (though maybe not practically) refuse to do it

It would be wonderful! (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404089)

If all drivers had to have that, we would have very precise rates for each driver. No new driver would have to cash out astronomical sums of money for insurance. Crazy idiots with bad driving habits, that have "officially" 10 years at the "wheel", will get the punch. The best point out of it will be, that we will finally close the argument who are better drivers men or women, with empirical evidence.

Consider The Question (4, Interesting)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404091)

The insurance company claims that they would never use any information obtained to consider changes in insurance rates, but that really sounds unbelievable.

Consider the question at a basic level. Is your insurance company altruistic, or are they profit seeking? For many corporations the answer is the latter. In fact it may be their fiduciary duty, unless their mission statement says they will be altruistic.

Assuming the corporation is profit seeking, you can assume that your relationship is adversarial. They may consider good treatment of the customer to be a profitable thing, but the principal motivation is still profit.

Can you tell if they treat their customers well? What evidence do you have? If you have no evidence of how they treat their customers, it may indicate that such information is not generally available. If that is the case, it is safe to assume that the company is not overly concerned with customer satisfaction.

That leaves you with legal obligation. What legal binding have they entered into? Did they put the commitment not to use the information to adjust rates in writing? Are they advertising that commitment broadly?

Assuming one of those is true, also consider whether you can prove that they used the information to adjust your rate. If they adjust the rate, and you suspect it was a result of the camera, how will you demonstrate that in a court of law?

Some corporations are altruistic (a typical example being a Mom & Pop in a small community that relies upon good neighbor status). Many other corporations are amoral. Some believe that amorality is, in fact, the right objective of all corporations. If that is the case with your insurance company, you are in an adversarial relationship and should make your decision as such.

Absolutely, unequivocally NO (4, Interesting)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404115)

Privacy, like freedom, is a right you should not give up so easily. At present there is really a war against privacy rather than terrorists. It's not fought with bullets, but by bit-by-bit corruption of principles. Just say no.

The only acceptable way this could work is if the device records in such a way they can detect alterations, and they can look at a span of time (say 15 mins) before and after an incident that generated an insurance claim - the rest of their life is of no interest. And that view only after you, as parent, can review before giving permission (apart from your human right to privacy you are also entitled to refrain from self incrimination - it appears you have to give up that right too).

Otherwise your child could (worst case) actually become part of a national covert surveillance system. It would be better if people coming up with such ideas thought about maybe giving some extra training, or limit the power of the car kids may have for the first year - something that doesn't involve even MORE spying on people but brings some knowledge.

In the UK they had a series where frequent joyriders had to go through a programme. Nothing worked, until they were ordered to help at an accident scene - having to help to cut kids their own age out of the wreckage.

On the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404181)

I'd have to smile and look presentable while driving, making my overall life experience substantially more gainful. I'd have to get comfortabl in front of a camera, the way I'd always want to be, and i'd feel like if I did the right thing and thought about driving enough i'd make a get impression and get an insurance break. I'd be seen smoking a mysteriousley large number of hand rolled cigaretts. A phase soon to end.

Neutral? As in... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404215)

...“You have the right to remain quiet. Anything that you say or do will be used against you.”.

It’s like with disease-insurance: The point of such a company is to make money. And if in any way physically possible, to sell your grandmother to do so.

Bullshit detector alert (1)

fahr (302279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404247)

Hmmm... Forgetting the privacy issues for a while, look for the money - costs and gains.

It is supposedly "activated by an erratic vehicle movement - extreme braking, cornering, and acceleration or if there is a collision". Detected by accelerometer, I guess. And then transmits -10/+10 secs of video for analysis by an "expert coach", resulting in a weekly "report" for parents.

I suppose the hourly rate for "expert coaches" are not far from what computer professionals are paid, and the time spent viewing, "analyzing" and commenting on countless clips would be prohibitive. Which leads me to believe that random footage would be captured, parents would be able to log in and see their loved ones brake and accelerate ad nauseam, which would be boring at best - and the program would mostly be used in processing (avoiding?) claims, as well as maybe play a slightly disciplinary role. For a while, at least.

It's target at teens because they have less choice (3, Insightful)

karlandtanya (601084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404259)

"Think of the children" as an argument is a red flag--usually means there's something wrong with what you're saying and you don't want people to think rationally about it.

Usually, Mom and Dad fund teen's car (that's the car which belongs to the teen, for all you BTAF fans).

If the gadget saves m&D money, teen gets a take it or leave it option (well, teenage was a few decades ago; maybe it's changed since then...).

If the surveillance was actually something people wanted, it would be offered to everyone as the latest perk on the insurance plan.

If this becomes the norm then I'm in deep do-do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404291)

I was at a track day last week where my 19yr old drove my Evo for approx 20 laps at speeds well in excess of the legal speed limit. How would the insurance company view speed in excess of 120mph.
He normally drives an 8yr old fiesta but is insured for the Evo

I would guess that the daya world say that he was driving dangerously and (as I'm guessing how this would work in the future) load my policy by an enormous amount.

I guess the sme argument would apply if he drove on parts of the German Autobahn.

the drivecam is there to monitor the driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29404339)

the drivecam monitors the driver, and no one else. So basically, this camera can only be used to incriminate the driver. it's like this:

does the camera show whether the driver is to blame?
- YES : the driver has to pay higher insurance rates since he is a lousy drier
- NO: who's to blame is unsure, and we need alternative input to find out who to blame

does the alternative method show the driver is to blame?
- YES: the driver has to pay higher insurance rates since he's a lousy driver
- NO: the other party has to cough up the dough

so basically, in the new set up the cards are stacked 3 to 1 against the driver with the camera and the 'cheaper' rates. I'd say, go for it!

To be fair (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404379)

90% of the computer engineer crashes were due to the operator using emacs. When you need both hands and one foot just to save your file it doesn't leave a whole lot of resources dedicated to driving.

You lose control when 3rd parties are involved (4, Insightful)

Dr_Paranoid (1602415) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404387)

I went through the AmFam TeenDriver http://www.teensafedriver.com/ [teensafedriver.com] website on this and found myself actually more than fleetingly interested in the capability (I have a 13yr old son who, being in the US, will be eligible to drive in 3 years). AmFam did a good job in posting a number of videos that hit the emotional part of a parent - wanting to protect while educating their children.

Then I followed the link to DriveCam.com. Now is when concern start rising. Yes - I did see an Insurance company monitoring a teenage driver and maintaining extremely personal data forever and may have been okay with that. But now the data goes to yet another service provider. In looking there, it is not clear to me that the videos or data does not go to any other company.

So my interest in helping educate and protect my son is obliterated with so many others having access to this information. I question their inability to do geo-location - it is merely one more chip and a few more bits of data to be passed! Add the name, vehicle info, date/time, location and events (yes - there will be many "events" as someone learns to drive) with audio & video.... sorry The Minority Report comes immediately to mind!!

A far more appealing device would be one that does the recording but retains the data longer. I would buy a device that informs me of "events" as they happen. Give me some information such as sudden swerving, acceleration, braking or jostling of the vehicle. Let me, the responsible parent, be able to choose if I should or should not contact my child and make a parental decision. I would love to be able to review the events at home afterwards. I am not willing to wirelessly transmit this stuff anywhere. Yes, it is after the fact and bad stuff can happen. But it is far better than not being informed like today and would give me the chance to sit down with my child and review his (her) actions as an upcoming adult.

Succinctly - I don't want 3rd parties involved. I'd pay a reasonable amount of money for the device (upto $150 or so) for us to use.

It defeats the point of insurance (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#29404427)

The point of insurance is to guard against the unexpected. If the companies start monitoring your every move to the point where they can predict the number and severity of claims you'll submit, then it's no longer insurance at all. They should just tell you how much money you'll need over your lifetime and you can sock away that much in a bank account yourself.

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