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New research from used car website NFDA Trusted Dealers has revealed almost a quarter (23.9%) of Britain’s motorists don’t trust insurance providers with data from black box devices, despite predictions that by 2020 one in four insurance policies will be telematics based.
The survey, which asked 1,000 motorists to rate who they would least trust with data on their driving habits and journeys, found insurance providers topped the mistrust list, followed by the Government who received 22.5 per cent of votes and the Police who received 14.5 per cent of votes.
Employers were seen as a relatively safe source of data protection, with only 7 per cent of drivers saying they would be suspicious of the company they worked for holding data on their personal driving patterns.
As insurance premiums continue to rise, the sales of black box insurance policies have increased five-fold in the past two years and are expected to reach 500,000 by 2016. However, with debate raging around data protection and ownership, it appears Britain’s motorists are unwilling to allow information on their driving habits to become public property.
Earlier this month, Parliament’s intelligence and security committee called for laws governing mass surveillance to be reformed to improve transparency and to safeguard the public’s privacy. This overhaul could ultimately transform the way data collected from automotive technology, including black boxes, is stored.
Black box technology has been touted as one of the cheapest options for young motorists to insure their cars, sometimes for up to £1,000 less than standard policies would offer. The small devices are tracked by satellite signals to monitor driving habits and feed back to insurers to determine premiums, measuring factors including speed and distance travelled.
Neil Addley, managing director of franchised dealer-owned used car website NFDA Trusted Dealers, commented on the results:
“Our survey demonstrates the importance in ensuring all technology is safe and secure and provides peace of mind for customers as well as tackling the reputation of insurance companies. Many of us don’t think twice about using a mobile phone or email but with technology developing at such a fast rate it is vital that providers ensure consumer rights and privacy are at the forefront.
“By 2020 insurance policies determined by telematics and data will be more common and will be able to monitor drivers’ habits, from how hard they brake to when they drive, where and how fast. Whilst black boxes in particular have been developed to provide cheaper insurance policies for customers, it is vital this doesn’t over-ride the need for personal privacy.”
Visuals of the results and further information on telematics can be found at: http://features.trusteddealers.co.uk
 Driver IQ, 2015
 British Insurance Brokers’ Association, 2015