Jun 192014

Earlier this week, Microsoft Ventures announced a partnership with American Family Insurance in an accelerator for home automation services.

The insurance industry has an obvious interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) as constant monitoring allows them to make more accurate assessments of risk and quickly adjust policies or premiums when circumstances change.

“We are focused on helping early stage companies bring new products and services to market that can make our policyholders’ homes and lives safer,” Microsoft’s media release quotes Dan Reed, American Family Ventures’ Managing Director as saying.

For consumers and the public at large, there a serious implications of constant monitoring by insurance companies, marketers and government agencies.

As Business Insider points out, Google already holds a massive amount of data on us all with Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft not far behind.

One of the key questions of the next decade is ‘do we we want our smart smoke detectors spying on us?’ and, if so, do we want it giving that data straight to the insurance company?

  One Response to “Insurers and the internet of things”

  1. I think that there is a line that should not be crossed. I am all for having “smart” smoke detectors, alarm systems, lighting systems, etc. but that data must be used to benefit the way we use/pay for the technology or aid in keeping us safe. If this data is being used in a way similar to the NSA’s phone-tapping, I think people will have a problem with it. But I am all for real-time safety!

    Excited to see what the future holds in the home automation and safety markets!


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