Thursday, March 4, 2010

Insurance Companies Leverage Facebook To Raise Your Rates

"Any town U.S.A. You walk into a store and notice someone you recognize, from Facebook. But you really don’t know the individual; only online have you “met” that person. You have shared a note, or played a game on Facebook, Myspace, or other media website. You can choose to say hello or ignore them. That choice is up to you.

"Sometime in the future, you wind up in a car accident and suffer physical injuries that you decide can be claimed in a lawsuit against the insurance company. Now your friends on Facebook may not have any choice of getting to know you up close and in person. You may not even be aware that they are being questioned.

"Insurance companies are beginning to demand access to information about you and they do not want your explicit consent. In a Globe and Mail report, the insurance industry wants to use sites such as Facebook to collect and use background information collected to contradict any evidence you have used in your claim for damages.

"The first thing the insurance lawyers will do in court is to ask plaintiffs if they have Facebook accounts and demand a court order to review those account — even if you have always had your privacy settings configured to be not searchable by Google or other services. And if somehow they find out that you are on Facebook and you said no, chances are your lawsuit against the insurance company may fail. And so the game begins. The lawyers will have access to everything about you; your friends are also now exposed and may be questioned about your online habits what you are doing online, personal messages are read and now your friend’s privacy is also vulnerable - even if you have never met them in person..."

Morre at ZDNet...

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