Expansion of electronic monitoring needs extreme caution

Are we really advocating providing insurers and governments with this kind of data?

Expansion of electronic monitoring needs extreme caution

In the April 13 edition of the Citizen, Tim Schewe’s Drivesmart column assessed the potential use of electronic vehicle monitoring in establishing ICBC rates.

While many of us might agree that careless or reckless driving should result in higher rates I would suggest we proceed towards electronic monitoring with extreme caution. Are we really advocating providing insurers and governments with this kind of data and trusting them to make good decisions?

Former constable Mr. Schewe already seems comfortable with assessing higher rates for those who are compelled to commute at peak hours over more treacherous roads. If penalizing those choices is reasonable then why stop with auto insurance? Why not utilize similar apps to more equitably determine rates for our Medical Services Plan. Surely one’s consumption of processed foods, alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs can be tracked. No doubt my Fitbit will be happy to share when I miss my step goal or permit my body mass index to rise.

Yes, my MSP example is not entirely fair, driving is a privilege and health care is a right. That said we need to be careful when advocating the use of electronic monitoring by governments and businesses. If we fail to protect our privacy we’ll soon find individuals and groups seeking to use our information to influence elections.

Worse yet Mr. Schewe’s former colleagues in the constabulary may find themselves wearing chest-mounted cameras that not only record the officer’s occasional use of a stern word or expression but also knows when they’ve overstayed their coffee break at Timmy’s.

Jim Shaw

Mill Bay

Just Posted

N. Cowichan, Duncan considering community “gateway”

Feature would be at the southwest corner of Beverly Street and the Trans Canada Highway

Cowichan Capitals earn first win in shutout style

Team effort helps Jack Grant blank Bulldogs

Seed harvest and planting event at Chase Woods

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to the radical restoration of local wetlands”

Duncan denies emergency shelter for women on Cairnsmore Street

Will look at a mobile shelter for women instead

Rob Douglas reveals 5-plank re-election campaign in bid for North Cowichan council seat

North Cowichan is making significant progress on a number of fronts.

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Coming up in Cowichan: Arts, charity and health events heading to Valley

Free fitness, self-defence for women begins this month Warmland Women’s Support Services… Continue reading

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read