Progressive MyRate Hackable?

Progressive Insurance announced that it will be rolling out its MyRate plan nationally. You participate by plugging a monitoring device into the ODB-II port on your vehicle. Once every six months you upload the collected data from every trip you’ve made. You’ll receive at least a 5% discount and maybe more based on your driving habits. In some states though, you could actually have your rates raised. Progressive will show you the direct impact your driving behavior has on your rate.

[Aaron Landry] has been participating in the pilot program and points out that the sensor is actually a rebranded CarChip. The CarChip is a datalogging device that can record a number of parameters: trip time, length, distance, speed, acceleration, deceleration, to name a few. 23 different engine parameters can also be made available. The MyRate device works with the same software as the CarChip. For the national rollout though, Progressive has a wireless device which is probably also manufactured by Davis.

While we’re not the types to expose our driving behavior-would you let your health insurance company monitor you? The MyRate device looks like juicy target for the unscrupulous and we wouldn’t be surprised to see someone exploit it. We’re wondering what sort of safeguards have been put in place. Any signal headed into the device could be modified. With the CarChip there’s no good reason to do that, but the MyRate is different because of potential monetary savings. It seems like far too much trust to put in a customer and we’re guessing Progressive has covered their bases either by securing the device or more likely: making it not worthwhile to the consumer to begin with.

58 thoughts on “Progressive MyRate Hackable?

  1. Actually I had one, tried it. The main thing it looks at is hard braking. And that’s what made me give up. Anything short of coasting to a stop would make it beep, indicating it had detected “hard brakes” and they look at time of day, if you drive in rush hour, that’s bad and anytime between midnight and 4am is bad. Acceleration also. Anything else doesn’t matter. Supposedly.

  2. Wow! I’m really surprised by all the ridiculous paranoid replies by others. It’s not mandatory to use this device and who cares if they can triangulate the signal or recover info that can be used in an investigation? Life is expensive, this is a great way to lower the insane premiums that insurance companies charge! If you are safe driver you deserve to pay lower rates. There are lot of dangerous drivers in the world which could use something like this to prevent a serious accident. As far as privacy! Really? This is the 21st century, there many ways to track person unknowingly and some methods in which the victim themselves consentually gives up private information through social networking websites. To conclude, if you are safe and have nothing to hide, this can only be beneficial; to the rest, speed limits are designed to allow people with standard equipment cars enough headroom to break safely regardless of the model of tire your car is equipped with and with the curvature, material, and any possible weather variables may affect the road.

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