Surveillance Capitalism, Telematics and Trucking Accident Claims | Trucking Accident Lawyer Indianapolis, IN

Personal Injury Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN

Surveillance Capitalism, first coined in 2014 by Shoshana Zuboff, a business theorist, author and social scientist, is the act of extracting data for analysis and sale. In a 2015 scholarly article written by Zuboff, she claims that hidden mechanisms of data extraction, sold as commodities, threaten our freedom and privacy. Yet, the sale of personal data and predictable analytic behavior is big business and growing by leaps and bounds. Why is it that relevant ads just seem to follow you around? What information are corporations collecting on you? You may be freely giving away personal information; simply look at your social media agreements.  

One such by-product of the of the data extraction industry has found its way into the monitoring of corporate fleets by the carriers that insure these vehicles. Telematic solutions collect and broadcast data over distances to a receiving computer. The analyzation of this information, like black box data, is a valuable resource that every trucking accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN trusts uses to obtain the maximum compensation for injured clients.  

Insurance companies use this assortment of driving data as a lure to reduce premiums for individual vehicle owners and business fleets alike. Do attached or onboard telematic devices invade your privacy? You bet! But businesses are generally cautious, carefully walking the privacy line while individuals, enticed by the potentially lower rates of user-based insurance policies willingly surrender the details of their driving habits.  

The installation of a fleet management system or telematic device may be used to collect such information as:

  • Speed
  • Hard acceleration and braking
  • Facial expressions and environmental road information collected by cameras mounted inside and out
  • Driver’s eyes for attention and alertness
  • How the driver takes corners
  • Cell phone use
  • Seat belt and airbag usage
  • Unauthorized passengers
  • Headlight usage
  • Safe driving distance
  • Backing-up behavior
  • Turn signal usage
  • Crosswalk driving behavior
  • Gasoline usage
  • Personal use of company vehicle
  • Smart phone tracking – See smart phone tracking after business hours at Arias v. Intermex Wire Transfer, 15-cv-01101 (E.D. CA, 2015)
  • Routing information – State tort laws differ with regard to collecting information on company vehicles after hours. See Elgin v. Coco-Cola Bottling Co., 2005 WL 3050633 (E.D. Mo. 2005) and Tubbs v. Wynne Transport, 2007 WL 1189640 (S.D. Texas, 2007)
  • Miles driven.

If your claim for injuries is in litigation, the insurance company may be compelled by your trucking accident lawyer to produce any data collected. The first thing you attorney will look for is a history of reckless driving by the employee truck driver and negligent entrustment (entrusting the vehicle to a known reckless driver) by the driver’s employer. If it appears that the negligent driver generally had a good driving record, your lawyer,  like a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN, will review additional data from the truck’s black box and compare it to eye-witness testimony to establish the negligence of the driver.

If you have been injured in a semi-truck or fleet vehicle accident and have a user-based insurance plan, the collection of your driving data may also be used to further establish the facts of your claim. Contact an experienced trucking accident lawyer as soon as possible and before the defendant’s driving data can be written over, purged or lost.

Contact Ward & Ward Law Firm for more insight into personal injury practice.