Monitoring System Endangers Consumer’s Privacy


42Progressive Corp., one of the largest auto insurance company in the United States and is currently holding the fourth place, have been reported to file a federal court case against Liberty Mutual Group Inc. Progressive Corp. is an Ohio-based auto insurance company as the Liberty Mutual Group Inc. is a Massachusetts-based auto insurance company. Progressive Corp. says that Liberty Mutual Group Inc. has committed a copyright violation on one of their car monitoring systems.

Progressive Corp. shows that it has received patent rights on a car monitoring system, known as the Patent 970, in 2000. The said vehicle monitoring system gathers data considering the car’s location, its speed, even its mileage, and other important data about the car and they place this on a computer database so that they could readily calculate the driver’s safety score.

Liberty Mutual Group Inc. have been accused to illegally copying the said car monitoring system with their release of Rewind and the system utilized by Liberty Mutual’s Ohio Casualty division called the Onboard Advisor.

This said case however alerted the public with their privacy being entered by such auto insurance companies. However, with the technology now, other auto insurance companies have found a way of tracking down their consumer without trampling on their privacy. The new innovative way does not utilize GPS or any car monitoring systems. One company of such is the Dallas-based per-mile car insurance company known as the MileMeter.

“Intellectual property rights is a good asset class and that we cheer Progressive for protecting its investments,” says MileMeter president and founder, Chris Gay. However, he also says that tracing gadgets, like GPS and the car monitoring system, violate American consumers’ confidentiality and it also increases the rate of auto insurance.

MileMeter’s idea is for consumers to pay for their insurance for every mile their car travels. In short, they only trample with the consumer’s location, age, vehicle and nothing more. MileMeter is the only auto insurance company in the country to offer a true pay-per-mile system. They launched this kind of system just in 2008.

In this system, the consumer would only be obliged to pay for every mile they think they want to be insured in. Any mile further that they did not pay to get insured in is not covered by the company. MileMeter promotes lesser expenses for their customers and they also encourage less driving for less pollution and less traffic.