You've probably heard of the fictional character "Big Brother." George Orwell introduced the idea of a totalitarian state that watches everything its citizens do at all times in his classic book "1984."
Even though that dark, dystopian vision of the world has not come to fruition, there are times where our every movement is being tracked. For example, when you're online and sites track you to provide targeted ads. (PssT! Click here to learn how to stop ads from following you online.)
Now, a Big Brother type of tracking system could be coming to your vehicle.
Does having your driving monitored creep you out?
We're talking about a tech startup from insurance company Allstate called Arity. It uses smartphone apps and other devices to track every move that people make while driving.
The reason it does this is to come up with a more accurate assessment of a driver's insurance risk. Similar to a person's credit score, but for driver safety.
Arity is already keeping an eye on more than 1 million motorists across the U.S. with nearly 400 employees watching them drive, trying to predict who is most likely to be in a car accident.
Allstate and Esurance receive data from Arity on drivers who have voluntarily opted into the program. There is an incentive for customers to opt-in. They receive a discounted rate on their insurance upfront. If it's determined they are a safe driver through the program, they also get to pay a lower rate for insurance.
There are plans for Arity to expand to other insurance providers and transportation companies in the future. But does the thought of your insurance company tracking your every move creep you out?
Arity's president says that it monitors a driver's level of aggressiveness. It tracks things like your acceleration tendencies and braking speed.
If it's only tracking generic things like that, and not personal data, maybe it's worth the discount. What do you think? Would you sign up for a program like this? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts.
Car hacking is real and dangerous - Protect yourself
The computers in modern cars also run the steering, traction control, airbags, cruise control, tire management, security, entertainment and more. That's great for safety, comfort, convenience and efficiency, but there's an unavoidable downside: Computers can be hacked.