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Why your car insurance company wants to track your heart rate

June 19, 2015, 4:25 PM UTC
Florida To Block Allstate From Selling Auto Insurance Within The State
MIAMI - JANUARY 17: An Allstate insurance company sign is seen outside one of its stores January 17, 2008 in Miami, Florida. Florida regulators are suspending Allstate's license to sell auto insurance in the state until the company cooperates with an investigation into why its homeowners insurance rates have not fallen as promised during an insurance overhaul law in January 2007 (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Photograph by Joe Raedle — Getty Images

Your car insurance company already knows plenty about you, from your age, to your accident history, to the number of miles per day you drive.

But if Allstate (ALL) has its way, the car insurer will know, much, much more, and potentially sell that information to third parties such as lenders, health insurers, marketers, and employers, to name a few.

According to a report in The Chicago Tribune, the firm was recently issued a patent for a “driving-behavior database” that would collect information from so-called “connected cars.”

Newer cars are now equipped with computers that can track all sorts of driving behavior, and insurance companies are capitalizing on the trend. According to The Tribune:

In recent years, Allstate and other car insurers have introduced voluntary programs in which policyholders can have their driving monitored, typically through a device or a mobile app, in exchange for potential discounts. Instances of hard braking or of driving at night, for example, might lessen one’s chance of a discount. Initially, the insurers assured customers that the programs didn’t track location, which was of particular concern for privacy advocates and consumers.