Automakers Share Driving Data With Insurance Companies

Consumers have long been worried about privacy when it comes to data collection by automakers. It turns out they had a reason to be paranoid.

“LexisNexis, which generates consumer risk profiles for the insurers, knew about every trip General Motors drivers had taken in their cars, including when they sped, braked too hard or accelerated rapidly,” according to an in-depth report from The New York Times

LexisNexis is a New York-based global data broker with a “Risk Solutions” division that caters to the auto insurance industry and has traditionally kept tabs on car accidents and tickets. 



When one GM driver asked the company for the “consumer disclosure report” (which it is obligated to provide per the Fair Credit Reporting Act) he was stunned with the contents — more than 130 pages detailing each time he or his wife had driven the Chevrolet Bolt over the previous six months. 

“It included the dates of 640 trips, their start and end times, the distance driven and an accounting of any speeding, hard braking or sharp accelerations,” according to The New York Times. “The only thing it didn’t have is where they had driven the car.”

General Motors is not the only automaker sharing driving behavior. Kia, Subaru and Mitsubishi also contribute to the LexisNexis “Telematics Exchange,” a “portal for sharing consumer-approved connected car data with insurers.”

Driving habits aren't the only data that can be collected and shared by automakers.

“Last year, a report by Mozilla made headlines when it revealed a 17-page list of the different types of information that cars can collect from users through in-car technology and features,” according to The Street. “The list starts off normal but gets more disturbing toward the end when it is revealed that cars can collect information such as; facial geometric features, behavioral characteristics, biological characteristics, sex life or sexual orientation information, sexual activity, genetic data, religion or creed, philosophical beliefs, etc. What’s even more unsettling is that the data can be shared to third-parties other than data brokers such as advertisers, dealers and service providers for a profit.”

Quick-change oil facilities have also been selling mileage data to the insurance companies for years, according to

Ford Motor Co. has issued a statement saying it does not collect such data without customers opting in, according to Ford Authority

"Ford hasn’t sold or shared any connected vehicle data to LexisNexis (or Verisk),” the automaker said in its statement. “While Ford announced exploratory partnerships with them, we haven’t launched anything. It’s up to you whether to share vehicle data with your insurer if you decide to seek a usage-based insurance policy. To become enrolled, you must both opt-in with your own insurance company, and AGAIN through a separate consent screen on your vehicle’s interface.”

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