More and more car insurers are offering discounts to customers willing to install a device in their car that monitors their driving.
They promise it wont penalize you, and they wont keep track of where you go. Until now.
You may have seen commercials for safe driving devices auto insurers are now pushing, such as Progressive's Snapshot and State Farm's Drive Safe and Save.
A little over a year ago, I tested out Progressive's system, that measures how hard you accelerate and brake, and gives slower/better drivers a discount.
Suffice to say, I did not get any discount, due to my "spirited" driving.
Are Tracking Devices Next?
But the Chicago Tribune says Progressive may soon take things even further.
It quotes the insurer as saying it's testing a new version that also keeps track of where you drive, based on GPS.
Drivers who stay in safer areas, such as quiet suburban streets, would get lower rates than drivers who park on city streets (high theft risk) or drive highways with high accident rates.
Doesn't That Stink?
Which leads us to the "doesn't that stink" file.
The Chicago Tribune quotes privacy advocates who say this goes too far, as it allows your insurer, and potentially the government, to know where you are driving.
Do you really want your insurance company to know that you parked outside a (pick one) casino/strip club/speakeasy/racetrack/other woman's apartment?
They say "doesn't that stink."
Progressive insists it will not share the info with anyone.
Of course your cell phone already gives out your rough location at all times, but cell phone carriers say they're not watching you.
The good news for drivers who love their privacy is that these gadgets are all optional. No one is forcing you to do it.
Of course that could change in a few years. But for now if you don't like it, don't waste your money.
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