Speaking at the 8th National Data Protection Conference, on 28 January 2016, the Data Protection Commissioner (the DPC) warned that in 2016 her office intends to audit insurance companies offering telematics boxes to assess their compliance with data protection legislation.

Insurance companies use telematics boxes to collect information about motorists’ driving behaviour, such as date, time and location of journey, breaking frequency and force, cornering, acceleration and speed, in order to allow them to set insurance premiums that reflect the driving style of motorists.

The DPC highlighted that telematics boxes generate an extremely detailed personal profile of individuals, and that insurance companies which use these devices must respect data protection laws. This means ensuring that individuals are fully informed, when signing up for a reduced car insurance premium on this basis, how their personal telematics data will be collected and used, who the information will be disclosed to and what their rights are with respect to the data.  Insurance companies need to obtain the informed consent of all named drivers on a telematics policy before they collect and use their personal data. .