The Quantified Self: The Role of Consumers’ Smart Wearables Perception Offered by Insurance Companies: An Abstract
The Quantified Self movement initially started in the Silicon Valley and rapidly became a mainstream phenomenon of self-tracking practices. In particular, the wide adoption of commercial activity trackers such as Fitbit HR, Xiaomi Mi, and Garmin Vivo made it possible for consumers to collect their biometrics and also track their physical activity throughout the day. The huge amount of data generated by consumers became highly interesting not only for online-based companies like Google or Amazon but also for the more traditional industries such as car manufacturers and insurance companies, which also started to pay attention to the Quantified Self data.
Fitness trackers motivate consumers to change their attitude to have a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. However, sharing consumers’ personal information is a very sensitive topic to consumers. One contradictory result of this study is that consumers claiming to demand full control over their personal information and to be informed on every possible usage of their personal data but are not inclined to read the provided privacy policies or to review usage restrictions during mobile app installation on their devices. This is the complete opposite of the above-named consumers’ demands for insurance companies’ openness on information collection, usage, and disclosure. Nevertheless, consumers expect a positive influence of fitness trackers on their behavior intention regarding physical exercises and support insurance companies’ initiatives on reward programs in return for consumers’ preventive actions. Although insurance companies are able to use fitness trackers to assess consumers’ physical activity and to adapt insurance premiums according to consumers’ intention to conduct preventive actions, most of the survey participants refuse these types of premium calculations in favor of the principle of solidarity. The health care system intends to distribute the health care costs to all health care system participants equally, and hence, all citizens – regardless of extant diseases or other diminishing factors causing additional costs – are obliged to pay the same premium. The results of the study show that study participants rather pay a higher premium instead of contributing to injustice or inequality at both, the health care system and social composition.