November 02, 2016 | Pam Cowburn

Facebook is right to stop Admiral insurance from using its data

Open Rights Group supports Facebook's decision to prevent the Admiral insurance company from using its data to inform car insurance quotes for young people.


Executive Director Jim Killock said “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.

“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.”

According to Admiral’s press release: “The technology uses social data personality assessments, matched to real claims data, to better understand first time drivers and more accurately predict risk.”

However, this has been found to be in breach of Facebook's Platform Policy section 3.15, which states:

"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."

Contact press@openrightsgroup.org for more information.

Please note that this press release has been updated. We originally believed that Facebook had disabled the app but they have since issued a statement that it will be used for login and verification. Facebook's statement is as follows:

“Protecting the privacy of the people on Facebook is of utmost importance to us. We have clear guidelines that prevent information being obtained from Facebook from being used to make decisions about eligibility.
 
We have made sure anyone using this app is protected by our guidelines and that no Facebook user data is used to assess their eligibility. Facebook accounts will only be used for login and verification purposes.
 
Our understanding is that Admiral will then ask users who sign up to answer questions which will be used to assess their eligibility.”

 


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