‘Privacy may soon be only for the rich,’ says watchdog chief
A plan by insurance group Achmea to give discounts to clients who agree to install special monitors in their homes and cars has been criticised by privacy groups.
The Dutch privacy watchdog CBP said such an agreement is permitted by law but that customers must be told exactly what the information is being used for and give their express permission to be monitored.
However, director Jacob Kohnstamm said he is not happy about the trend toward increased monitoring. ‘I would not do it,’ he told radio station BNR. ‘Privacy is a fundamental right and you have to ask if you can weaken that right by accepting cheaper insurance premiums in return.’
‘In the end, privacy may become the preserve of the rich,’ Kohnstamm said.
Meanwhile, news website Nu:nl says Google Nest has denied working with Achmea to develop the household monitor and Achmea is not included on Nest’s ‘works with’ web page.
Nest’s monitors adapt to the users’ behaviour; for example, by turning down the temperature in a house if no one is home.
Achmea hopes to stimulate its customers into improving home and driving safety by offering the discounts, which it says will ultimately cut its bill for damages.