PURVEYOR OF dreadful adverts Admiral Insurance has given the world another reason to hate it after revealing plans to set premiums based on Facebook content.
Following on from the introduction of driver monitoring apps and devices over the past few years to identify who is likely to cause a pile-up, the bint in the stupid hat has now decided that 'Always Looking Out For the Customer' means checking their Facebook posts to see whether Admiral's algorithm can spot who is likely to be naughty or nice.
"The technology uses social data personality assessments, matched to real claims data, to better understand first-time drivers and more accurately predict risk,” said the firm.
Obviously, this is as sh*tty as a jobbing actress in a stupid hat pretending to be a naval commander who is for some reason in charge of an insurance company, putting her job description on the same footing as a plastic bulldog. But don’t worry: common sense has prevailed.
Facebook has since told Admiral to take a hike on the idea, and rightly so as it would instantly affect the premiums of anyone who has played GTA V and written about it.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, applauded Facebook’s stance. "We need to think about the wider consequences of allowing companies to make decisions that affect us financially or otherwise based on what we have said on social media," he said.
"Such intrusive practices could see decisions being made against certain groups based on biases about race, gender, religion or sexuality, or because their posts in some way mark them as unconventional.
"Ultimately, this could change how people use social media, encouraging self-censorship in anticipation of future decisions.
"Young people may feel pushed into such schemes because of financial constraints. The right to keep things private shouldn't be the preserve of those who can afford it."
Admiral could well have just been trying its luck with this one. After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. But there’s nothing to stop your online identity being used to make sweeping judgements about you as a person. And it’s only likely to get worse.
Facebook has not allowed the practice based on Platform Policy section 3.15, which says: 'Don’t use data obtained from Facebook to make decisions about eligibility, including whether to approve or reject an application or how much interest to charge on a loan.'
The app has been disabled and the person with 'Genius' in flashing lights over his or her desk has probably been given a good kicking.
Now all we need is to shut James Corden up about how traffic lights are sometimes green and we’ll really be in business. µ
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