Friday, April 6, 2012
Big Brother Is Watching You, and her name is Flo
As it turned out, we didn't need a nuclear holocaust or a 40-year war to enter the world of George Orwell's 1984. Just a promise of lower car insurance rates.
We've become such pathetic, Eager to Get Along by Going Along, Privacy is So Yesterday sheep that we have absolutely no problem accepting Progressive's "convenient" little Now You Don't Have To Tell Us If You Are A Good Driver Because We'll Already Know device, which you just clip to the interior of your car. And then forget about it, please- don't worry, Progressive will take it from here.
What does this thing do? Monitor your speed? Count how many times you apply your brakes, and how aggressively? Keep track of your midnight journeys to 7-11 or keep tabs on how many taverns you visit, and how often? Use wireless technology to tell Progressive when you've made "potentially hazardous" long-distance trips on holiday weekends? Because this is all information that you'd like your insurance company to have, right?
How secure is this information? If Progressive finds out that you hit McDonalds four times a week, will the company pass this little nugget on to your health insurance provider? Will you start getting e-coupons from McDonalds?
Coming next- this fun little gadget will include a listening device so it can monitor your level of "distracting" conversations. How about a built-in camera so it can catch you changing radio stations a little more than Progressive thinks is necessary? Apparently all of this is just fine, as long as it saves us a few bucks a year and it's served up to us with a smile by everyone's favorite pasty-white, red-lipped, smiling insurance hustler.
I'll say "pass" on this awesome new "service"- while I can. Because you just know this is going to be SOP for every insurance company in about fifteen more minutes. And we'll be fine with it- hey, if both Flo and that adorable little lizard think it's cool, who are we to disagree?