The insurer would be looking for people who had well-organised accounts, and who used lots of lists as a way of ordering their information, to make judgements about their probable driving characteristics, and set the premiums accordingly. Someone, for example, who uses a lot of exclamation marks in their Facebook posts, might be judged to be overconfident, and their premiums set accordingly (obviously they should be penalised for bad grammar alone, but that’s another story).
After complaints about breaches of privacy, and the idea flying in the face of Facebook’s policy of not letting its user data affect eligibility for commercial products, the idea has now been adapted so Facebook users must go to Admiral directly if they are interested in participating.
The interesting thing in all of this though, is that the young people themselves were, in their words, well up for it. One young female driver interviewed on Radio4 yesterday said the scheme stood to cut her premium by £300 a year. That’s a not-insignificant contribution towards the bottomless beer fund students require. She, and many like her, had no qualms whatsoever about sharing their Facebook accounts with Admiral, if it stood to save them money.