Would you trade data privacy for more active part in your insurance plan?

  • 24/05/2019  |
Would you trade data privacy for more active part in your insurance plan?

The secrecy of what we share on the internet is one of the concerns raised by recent scandals such as the data harvesting carried out by Cambridge Analytica.

Nonetheless, Italian consumers are willing to give access to their personal data under certain conditions.

This is one of the findings of a Celent research study on customers’ views about the use of social networks in the insurance business. This study, involving 32 Italian insurers and 323 consumers, revealed a number of significant findings: firstly, that a majority of customers already expect companies to use their data. Although insurers believe that this is a good thing, given that they make diligent use of their information, consumers think otherwise due to trust issues.

This does not mean they no longer want to share their personal data in order, for example, to be more active in the value chain of the insurance process and to obtain a better premium deal.

Even if customers are more willing to interact with machines and robots than insurers, the processing of personal data raises some legal issues that need to be clarified. Hence, we put some questions to Silvia Tironzelli, Legal Counsel for the RGI Group.

Even if customers seem to enjoy giving their personal data in return for greater participation in insurance companies, what are the issues that would be raised by greater access to private data, speaking in legal terms?

The protection of personal data is an issue that, in recent years, has increasingly taken on central importance in the legal landscape, with its effects also impacting insurance, economic, social and political scenarios around the world.

The European regulation scenario pushed through some new laws that recently came into effect, such as the GDPR, which affect the entire business world, including insurance; this has entailed a high focus on transparency, the correctness of behaviour towards customers, contractual information, the performance of contracts and customer protection. A lack of transparency in the processing of data exposes companies to the risk of penalties. Organizations therefore need legal bases to process their customers’ personal data in order to avoid misconduct and wrongdoings and to enhance their company’s reputation and credibility.

Additionally, by legally leveraging customer data, companies are able to offer customized services and products with added value that are designed to meet specific customer needs, which is one of the best ways to build loyalty and trust.

After the data harvesting scandals, the use of apps and robots raises serious doubts on their safety in the event of hacker attacks. What measures could be put in place to ensure optimal security?

In the digital world in which we are all immersed, consciously but more often than not unconsciously, cyber threats, implemented in the most varied and most invasive ways, are aimed at acquiring information and therefore attack public entities and company databases.

Risks can be reduced by relying on partners and software vendors that are certified in computer security and data access.

Companies must create new partnerships with reliable and certified technological partners that guarantee excellent levels of data security to deal with the impact of the revolutionary technology changes sweeping the world, so as to provide insurers with valuable peace of mind concerning the protection of their databases.

So, these are key questions, but which can be overcome for the sake of both customers and insurers.

Silvia Tironzelli
RGI Legal Counsel

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