Your Internet-connected car is spying on you, and your premium could go up

Your car may be snitching on you. The New York Times recently reported that Internet-enabled autos from manufacturers like GM are transmitting info on how you drive to data analytics company LexisNexis. And they, in turn, are sharing those findings with insurance companies.

Driver Ken Dahl discovered he was under observation when his insurance rate went up 21% — even though he had a clean driving record, no tickets, not even a fender bender.  But according to a 130-page report from LexisNexis, he was guilty of hard braking and sharp accelerations.

"It felt like a betrayal," Mr. Dahl said. "They're taking information that I didn't realize was going to be shared and screwing with our insurance."

Now lawmakers, like Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, are riding to the rescue.

"The 'internet of things' is really intruding into the lives of all Americans," Senator Markey said in an interview. "If there is now a collusion between automakers and insurance companies using data collected from an unknowing car owner that then raises their insurance rates, that's, from my perspective, a potential per se violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act."

In the meantime, if your car uses roadside assistance or GPS, that helpful information sharing could be an expensive two-way street.

See also: New vehicles a "privacy nightmare" where you consent to carmakers collecting data on behavioral, biological, even sexual activity