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Big Data: Europe reinforces personal data protection

The new European regulation on data collection and processing was adopted on 14 April. It requires insurers to provide greater transparency and security, an obligation that can also serve to boost confidence, given that the majority of French people are prepared to entrust their insurer with their persona data. 

Big Data: Europe reinforces personal data protection

A new deal for personal data processing. Faced with fast-changing technologies for the collection of such sensitive information, the legislator has gone one step further for the protection of private individuals. A new European regulation on data protection (GDPR) provides greater respect for the consumer and greater transparency in the use of personal data. These obligations will be binding upon all companies, which have until April 2018 to implement the necessary systems.

Insurers directly concerned by the new regulations

Big Data has started to open up far-reaching prospects for insurers: better knowledge of their customers, reinforced fraud detection, anticipation of new needs, a more sophisticated segmentation of offerings, the development of new prevention strategies, etc. The billions of data that are collected thanks to connected bracelets (health insurance) and other sensors embedded in connected objects and cars (car insurance) constitute a gold mine for anyone capable of processing them.

Fines of up to €20 million or 4% of the worldwide turnover

Among the new criteria imposed, mention should be made of privacy by design, security by default ; the obligation of documentation, an impact study before implementing certain processes or the compulsory appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO). The penalties provided can be administrative fines of as much as €20 million or an amount equal to 4% of worldwide turnover! In return, the European legislator nonetheless intends to offer companies a unified legal framework and simplified formalities.  

A boost for confidence

This new legislative framework, which initially appears very restrictive, nonetheless provides guarantees of transparency for Europe’s citizens which may well contribute to allaying certain fears about the use of personal data, an opportunity to be linked to the study* carried out in 2014 by PwC, which showed that one French person in two was already prepared to entrust his personal data to his insurer in order to obtain a better offering for property and liability insurance.

*“Insurance 2020: The digital prize – Taking customer connection to a new level“ – The audit firm questioned over 9,000 consumers in the world, including 500 in France..

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