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Trade-Off Could be Privacy and Data Security in Case of Insurtech

By Insurance CIO Outlook | Wednesday, May 01, 2019

data securityThe world is now creating vast amounts of data, within recent times exponential growth in data generation. Much of this latest data is being documented in novel ways, and technology advances mean that it can be stored and analyzed much faster than before. There have been many recent comments on Big Data and Data Science against this backdrop: the ability to process and draw useful conclusions from greater quantities of data, from variable sources, much quicker than ever.

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With over $8 billion spent since 2012 in insurtech trends, it's time to ask what the rise of new technologies implies to consumers. Artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and IoT have the ability to streamline insurers and policyholders ' processes. We look to a future with insurance plans tailored to our requirements, faster to support and, above all, cheaper. Insurtech tends to raise privacy concerns and data security with easy access to data that's more personalized and comprehensive than ever before.

IoT devices are bad news for privacy and security, unfortunately for consumers. The controversy of last year with the Strava fitness tracker revealing U.S. military bases locations shows that poor data management is extremely dangerous. The sensitive information obtained by wearables is especially valuable and prone to misuse when data is the new currency.

DNA testing is now an affordable and influential way of learning more about ourselves, whether to investigate our ancestry by testing for genetic diseases. But what seems to be an innocent practice is a dark side. And that is not the end of concerns about privacy. Naturally, insurance companies took a keen interest in DNA testing data insights, particularly with regard to life insurance. Potential policyholders are needed during the underwriting method to disclose any medically relevant information, and insurers are now also asking about genetic testing. This may result in unfair treatment, with some people getting worse policies due to their results or even being denied opportunities altogether.

There is no doubt that Insurtech has the ability to make insurance plans cheaper, more versatile and more consumer friendly. However, that doesn't mean the new conveniences will come free. That trade-off could be our privacy and data security in the case of insurtech.

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