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Louisiana could ban sharing of driver information collected from vehicles


(The Center Square) — A bill in the Louisiana House that would prohibit the sharing of driver information recorded by vehicles without their consent is headed to the floor for a vote.

The House Insurance Committee approved House Bill 957 by Rep. Edmond Jordan unanimously Wednesday. Jordan offered some amendments to his bill, including one that would prohibit an insurer from obtaining telematic data from a vehicle without the owner’s consent. The bill was also amended to remove automakers and dealerships.

The bill is supported by state insurance commissioner Tim Temple and opposed by insurer State Farm.

In explaining his bill, Jordan cited news reports that detailed how General Motor’s OnStar and Hyundai’s BlueLink systems, for example, are taking telematic data and selling it to data brokers such as LexisNexis, who then compiled it and sold that data to insurance companies.

“Without your knowledge, without your consent, your driving data, whether it was hard braking or fast starts, any of that stuff was being sent over,” Jordan said. “There are several instances where people went to renew their insurance and the insurance quotes were up by 25 percent.”

He also said the affected vehicle owners asked their insurance agents and were told to pull their LexisNexis report, which had all of their trips, all of their braking data.

“Telematic data has value,” Jordan said. “Insurance companies usually do it all of the time, with the consent of the driver. It can have an positive effect on your driving, but if you don’t know that you’re being tracked for it, you’re not doing the thing that you’re incentivized to do.”

The committee also approved another bill by the Baton Rouge Democrat that would task the state’s insurance commissioner with studying and making recommendations to possibly eliminate the state mandate for car insurance.

House Continuing Resolution 120 would also require the state’s insurance department to examine the approaches taken by other states with minimal or noncompulsory requirements.

Only two states — New Hampshire and Virginia — have no requirement for auto insurance. Florida and New Jersey have no mandates for drivers to carry body injury liability insurance.