Everything in the Right Hands

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In The Right Hands

I just upgraded the apps on my phone. Every last one of them, however minor, demands a huge amount of personal information. And then, for ‘added security’ I have to respond to my phone to verify what I am trying to pull up on my computer. Invasive and Overkill.

This leads me to discuss the benefits and dangers of personal tracking and especially how this intersects with business. When a team at an Internet of Things (IoT) platform emailed me last week about a deal they had made with an insurance company I deal with, I got a little worried: They explained that smart-devices would track people at home, and I responded that I found the idea concerning about their system. They replied that I should only worry if the data got into the wrong hands.

That gave me some real pause. Think about that for a moment. Who has the wrong hands? Insurance companies are incentivized to charge us the highest premiums possible and pay-out the least amount possible. When they can track our individual carelessness/clumsiness in the car or at home – as opposed to betting against the foolishness of a sizable number of people in a larger pool of policyholders – then I worry that we’re all going to be penalized both alone and as a group.

What happens when there comes one time that I knock over an antique vase rushing to get out the door to get to work one morning? They “see” my actions and suddenly, I can’t collect. What happens when that one time I dash in my connected car to catch the light before it turns red and I’m a micro-second too late? My premiums soar. What happens if my wearable notices that one time I had a glass of wine more than the Surgeon General’s recommendation? Or my vital signs are not up to the recommended norms? Do I have to pay excessively next visit to the doctor?

The more I think about this use of personal data to create personalized financial products I worry – Rather than betting against a small number of claims in a large pool, insurance companies will basically be betting against each and each of us individually. We lose every time.

Personal and aggressive tracking like this is invasive – and if I was to wave my hands in the air, I would say it is totally Un-American.
The alleged convenience of life with technology often has far too many drawback. As a result, I draw back. Think about it and judge your own situations…you might too. The right hands may still be all wrong.

To Your Success…

Scott

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