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Insurer to analyse motorists' Facebook pages to determine if they are safe drivers

Insurer to analyse motorists' Facebook pages to determine if they are safe drivers

First-time drivers can receive reduced insurance quotes by allowing their Facebook profiles to be scoured in a bid to determine their personalities, an insurer has announced.

The insurance company Admiral said that those buying their first car could join the optional scheme to receive a discount of up to 15%.

Admiral said an algorithm would be used to analyse Facebook profiles to determine whether prospective customers would be careful drivers.

On its website, the company said: "New drivers are often quoted much higher insurance premiums as they have little driving history, zero no claims bonus and are viewed as 'high risk'.

"But we want to help make sure safe drivers aren't penalised and get the best price possible. To do this, we'll look at your Facebook profile to help us get a better understanding of the type of driver you are.

"There's a proven link between personality and how people drive, and our clever technology allows us to predict who is likely to be a safe driver."

Only a "snapshot" of the customer's social media page will be considered while the quote is calculated, Admiral said.

Writing style and the use of calendars or accounting apps will be considered in the analysis, The Times reported.

Renate Samson, the chief executive of Big Brother Watch, told the newspaper: "It's terrifying. Kids are going to be handing over information with no real knowledge about how it is going to be used.

"How can you really tell if someone is a good or bad driver based on your Facebook page?"