Allstate Patents Physiological Data Collection

The following is a brief paragraph posted on Slashdot but contains a link to a longer article:

Allstate has been granted patent no. US 20140080100 A1 for a “driving-behavior database that it said might be useful for health insurers, lenders, credit-rating agencies, marketers and potential employers.” The program is just in the patent stage for now, but the company says: “the invention has the potential to evaluate drivers’ physiological data, including heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram signals, which could be recorded from steering wheel sensors.” Imagine a world where you are denied employment or credit based on the information obtained from your car and sold by your insurer. What could possibly go wrong?

The invention creates one or more databases whereby identifiable behavior or evaluative characteristics can be analyzed or categorized. The evaluation can include predicting likely future events. The database can be correlated or evaluated with other databases for a wide variety of uses.

Is there a privacy issue here?

One thought on “Allstate Patents Physiological Data Collection

  1. Another “US” style patent which has no real innovation but is just an application of existing technologies? Wait for them to start pursuing insurers who already use black boxes to monitor driver behaviour and car manufacturers who have driver alertness systems and similar.

    Can I patent the idea for a database that contains blog posting about Privacy? I don’t think there is such a patent yet.


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