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European Journal

Italy: Big Brother's Watching Motorists

Italy's roads are notoriously dangerous. Car insurers recently introduced incentives for careful driving - but the scheme has its detractors, who are worried about what it means for data privacy.

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Conscientious motorists can now pay less insurance thanks to what's called telematics technology, an integrated use of telecommunications and informatics. Insurance companies are convinced that Italy's roads are already safer and that the accident rate has dropped by 40 percent. But the scheme also has its critics, with some motorists worried about data privacy. Telematics-enabled vehicle tracking allows for the monitoring of the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle.