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Trust an Insurance Company's "Drive-Cam?" 480

Posted by kdawson
from the no-voyeurs-here dept.
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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Trust an Insurance Company's "Drive-Cam?"

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  • by slifox (605302) * on Sunday September 13, 2009 @04:47AM (#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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by KDR_11k (778916)

      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?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:02AM (#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.)

      • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:15AM (#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
        • by davidphogan74 (623610) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:21AM (#29404019) Homepage

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

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

          • by Skater (41976) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:53AM (#29404571) Homepage Journal

            I'm with you (and the OP of this thread). I'd love to have a camera in the car that records what's happening in front of me so that when some jackass hits me. Someone backed into my car while it was parked a couple weeks ago and took off. $2000 worth of damage (including some used parts rather than new) and $250 out of my pocket for the deductible. You'd better believe I wish I had video of that incident, because not only would they be paying, they'd be getting a ticket for leaving the scene of an accident. In addition, maybe I could find out why they couldn't see a red car parked in a lot in broad daylight.

            For a side project, I've sometimes considered creating an "aggressivedrivers.com" website or something that just shows video of some of the stupid shit I see people doing out on the road. But what would be the point? It's not like anything short of dying will stop those drivers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mabhatter654 (561290)

        everybody misses the obvious. This wont' ever be legally "mandated".. but eventually insurance companies won't let you have insurance without it.

        After one speeding ticket or accident (no matter fault) the choice will be to pay $500 extra for 3 years or install this system for "free"... which of course will eventually have monitoring fees/law enforcement uses as usage grows. So as soon as law enforcement give everybody one speedy cam ticket, everybody will be "required" by insurance to have this.... and you

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by shakah (78118)

        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.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:07AM (#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.

          • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @04:26PM (#29407305)

            Correlation is necessary, but not sufficient, for causation. Therefore, if you want to eliminate causations, and can afford to error in that direction, eliminating correlations is a good way to do so. Especially since it is so difficult to prove causation.

            "Correlation is not causation" does not mean all correlations can be mindlessly discarded.

        • by Rallion (711805) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @10:25AM (#29404923) Journal

          To an insurance company, if a correlation exists, it is relatively unimportant to know WHY it exists. In fact, the only reason I can think of that they would be interested in the WHY is to use that information to find other correlations.

          This isn't because insurance companies are stupid, it's because they aren't. People have this silly idea that correlation is meaningless, and only causation ever matters. However, when evaluating probabilities, causation is utterly useless.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zmooc (33175)

      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.

    • by dimeglio (456244)

      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.

      • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy@nosPam.gmail.com> on Sunday September 13, 2009 @07:24AM (#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 ?

        • by pknoll (215959) <slashdot.pk@grape[ ]h.org ['fis' in gap]> on Sunday September 13, 2009 @09:18AM (#29404659)

          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 ?

          Indeed! I'm one of several driving instructors in my local Audi Club who run several teen driving clinics per year. It's astounding how much they'll learn in a single day of instruction. I certainly feel better about their ability to handle a car when they leave, and (I think) so do they.

          We teach basic car control, and give them the opportunity to actually lose control in a safe environment, so they know what it's like, know what their car is capable of (and isn't capable of) and mostly, just instill some confidence in them, so that when something happens on the road, they'll already have been there at least once, and hopefully won't panic.

          "Driver education" as taught here in the US doesn't teach them anything about driving a car. It teaches them to obey the law (and not too effectively). If they had a solid sense of the amount of energy involved in even the most basic maneuvers, they'd probably look at speeding etc. in a whole new light. And I hope we help, at least a little, with that.

          I'd love to require a course like ours for all new drivers before they get a license, and perhaps an occasional refresher for all drivers, period (even us instructors!)

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mabhatter654 (561290)

            I like that idea. you are correct, the idea of drives ed as "practice" time went out the window long ago. Most places had drivers ed as an actual class when I was that age and since schools have dropped it. This forces kids to take part-time classes where they might drive with instruction 4-5 times tops then get handed a "learners permit" to drive with their parents. Doughnuts in an empty lot is now "wreckless driving" in most places so practicing anything risky is verboten. Hence kids (and many adults) ha

        • by jrumney (197329) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @10:09AM (#29404877) Homepage
          If the drivers are able to see the footage themselves, it may be a useful behaviour corrector. My employer equipped all the company cars with cameras a few months ago that trigger under high acceleration in any direction, after a number of insurance claims in a short space of time. For the first few days, I was triggering mine on average 3 times on my journey to/from work under braking and when cornering. Very quickly, my driving behaviour adapted, and now I trigger them maybe 3 times a week. These cameras are USB based though, so only people with physical access to the cars can view the videos. Still, some users voluntarily make their videos public [youtube.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kurt555gs (309278)

        "As a parent, I would definitively go for it.", until the Drive-Cam captured "Champaign" actively resting her head in your lap because your car was in the shop, and you just took the kid's car that day.

  • Field Mod (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @04:52AM (#29403687)

    it will also monitor other adult drivers.

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

  • Subpoena (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SJ2000 (1128057) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:06AM (#29403737) Homepage
    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.

    • 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.

  • by g00ey (1494205) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:11AM (#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.
    • by Yert (25874)
      If they ticketed jaywalkers here in Memphis, we'd actually have a decent budget surplus. :/
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tthomas48 (180798)

      Well except that this is private industry, not the government. Let me make that more accurate for you:

      The next step is to put equipment on your body that continuously monitors your activities where each Jaywalk and other minor infringements result in changes to your life insurance deductible. You health insurance company will also adjust your deductible for each offending word that comes out of your mouth, as it shows that you haven't been dealing with stress in your life properly and are liable to die quic

  • It's simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Klivian (850755) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:13AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mistlefoot (636417) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:25AM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaizeMan (1076255) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:15AM (#29403805) Homepage
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hazelfield (1557317) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @07:16AM (#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.
  • by thrill12 (711899) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:27AM (#29403859) Journal
    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.
    • 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.

    • by Inda (580031)
      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.
  • by MrKaos (858439) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @05:36AM (#29403887) Journal
    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
    • 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.

  • Do it like Gmail. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by HKcastaway (985110)

    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.

  • by Norsefire (1494323) * on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:02AM (#29403965) Journal
    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 ...
    • by martas (1439879)
      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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Huntr (951770) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:07AM (#29403975)
    No. Next question.
  • double standards (Score:4, Insightful)

    by petes_PoV (912422) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:19AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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.

    Ther

    • by ledow (319597) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:35AM (#29404093) Homepage

      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?

      • Where the hell are your brains?

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

  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mario_grgic (515333)

      For some definition of better. By Canadian definition, retarded bacon brain idiot who has reflexes of a dead horse, always drives 45 km/h an hour everywhere, because he is scared shitless to drive faster than that, never uses turning lights (probably doesn't even know what they are for) is considered a great driver by police, insurance company and even general population.

      On the other hand person confident in their driving ability, driving a good fine tuned car with good handling and breaking capability, who

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday September 13, 2009 @10:54AM (#29405073) Homepage Journal

        So, basically this is massive systematic criminalization of speeding, just because it's so much simpler and easier to enforce.

        If you go twice as fast you have four times the energy. This is why speeding is a priority. Car parts sometimes fail while you are using them through no fault of your own, speed limits are supposed to reflect that.

        Obligatory Disclaimer: Anyone not going 75 mph on the posted-65mph Highway 280 in California is getting passed by everyone, including the truckers and the buses. Just took 101 to 1something to 1 to 9 to 35 to 280 to 101 to 175 to home yesterday, and the freeway was MOVING. I actually got to get up around 100 C on the thermostat in my 1982 W126 300SD :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ceoyoyo (59147)

        "breaking capability"

        Well no wonder. Get a car that doesn't break all the time. Breaking cars are dangerous.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:35AM (#29404091) Homepage

    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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by u38cg (607297)
      It's a common argument that insurance companies are out to screw you, break the rules, and generally get away with anything they can. That isn't true. Running an effective insurance office as a going concern requires close attention to markets, pricing, risks, and reserves. Denying valid claims, getting embroiled in court cases and bad publicity run counter to these objectives and make it impossible to make sensible forecasts and are just bad business sense. In any business, the best sale is the one that
  • by cheros (223479) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @06:43AM (#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.

  • ...“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.

  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @07:31AM (#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.

  • To be fair (Score:5, Funny)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:10AM (#29404379) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • by Dr_Paranoid (1602415) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:11AM (#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.
  • Turn the offer down (Score:3, Informative)

    by Faluzeer (583626) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:23AM (#29404435)

    Hmmm

    Regardless of how much money this deal would save you, I would say no. I am cynical about the motives of the insurance company. I am from the UK, I have seen such assurances about potentially intrusive systems given many times, in the end the assurances all turned out to be worthless. Any system that can be abused will be abused.

  • Hell no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @08:59AM (#29404589) Homepage Journal

    This is just another way to indoctrinate kids into a world where they have no privacy and accept constant surveillance by corporate America ( and the goverment ) as the 'norm'. This is rather offensive and i hope people boycott the companies that are offering this.

  • by lifejunkie (785838) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:13AM (#29405157)
    What happens when the insurance companies raise the normal rates to 10x what they are now, and offer a "discounted" rate only to those that have this camera installed? That would effectively force it on everyone without the help of any new laws.
  • by AlgorithMan (937244) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:31AM (#29405247) Homepage
    Will it have GPS or can you circumvent the system by attatching a photo of your garage to it?
  • by MagusSlurpy (592575) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @11:59AM (#29405397) Homepage

    Especially when, according to a British insurance firm, computer engineers are most likely to crash

    I don't buy that - how many computer engineers are women?

    /ducks

  • by richardkelleher (1184251) on Sunday September 13, 2009 @10:13PM (#29409575) Homepage
    • #1: If insurance companies are doing it, they are doing it to make more money.
    • #2: Insurance companies deserve all of your money and they know it.
    • #3: If insurance companies say it won't affect your rates, they are lying.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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