Life Insurance Company Adding Fitness Tracking to all PoliciesMarie Donlon | September 24, 2018
John Hancock, one of the largest insurance providers in North America, plans on offering only “interactive” policies from now on that gather data about policyholder health using wearable devices like a smartwatch.
Digital fitness devices are capable of tracking data concerning the policyholder such as how often they exercise. As such, policyholders could be rewarded with discounts or gift cards whenever they achieve some exercise milestone.
Although John Hancock launched its first interactive policy in 2015, the interactive model will now apply across all of the company’s policies.
However, privacy advocates, who have called the move "creepy" and "dystopian," are cautioning that insurers might be using the tracking data to punish policyholders who aren’t successfully meeting fitness targets.
"Naturally the American dystopian surveillance state will combine insurance with fat-shaming. Welcome to hell," said Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute.
Yet, the insurance industry argued that it is closely regulated and would not be able to increase rates or enact policy changes without justification.
Additionally, John Hancock claimed that policyholders would not have to log their activities at all to qualify for coverage, but would have to for discount eligibility.