Not exactly about books, but an interesting point about unintended consequences of social media.
From The Wall Street Journal:
Did you document your hair-raising rock-climbing trip on Instagram? Post happy-hour photos on Facebook ? Or chime in on Twitter about riding a motorcycle with no helmet? One day, such sharing could push up your life insurance premiums.
In January, New York became the first state to provide guidance for how life insurers may use algorithms to comb through social media posts—as well as data such as credit scores and home-ownership records—to size up an applicant’s risk. The guidance comes amid expectations that within years, social media may be among the data reviewed before issuing life insurance as well as policies for cars and property.
. . . .
“We’re going through a period now where most life insurers are exploring using all types of data, not just data they get directly from the customer proactively, but other external sources of data—social media being a big one,” said Ari Libarikian, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co. in New York.
He anticipates that some day, underwriters will assess potential customers with automated reports based in part on their social media use. “It’s here to some degree and it’s coming in the next couple of years,” Mr. Libarikian said.
. . . .
What should I avoid posting on social media?
Given how digital histories can linger, people should go easy on photos of risky behavior such as smoking and instead play up boasts about healthy activities, like recent cycling trips or marathons, said Mike Vogt. He is executive director of data and analytics for SPR, a firm whose services include using artificial intelligence and social media accounts to help insurers process claims.
“Paragliding, ice-climbing, riding a motorcycle while drinking a beer: They are a little over the top, but honestly, I’ve been surprised at what people post,” he said. “That history never goes away, even if you remove the post a few hours later.”
. . . .
How are insurers using social-media data right now?
Some insurers are using social media in handling claims. Insurers can check explanations of auto claims against Facebook testimonials about an accident. And they could challenge disability claims if posted photos from a ski trip, for example, contradict an impairment or illness.
What is holding back the use of social media in underwriting?
The technology to study individuals’ social media accounts to make underwriting decisions is underdeveloped but likely inevitable, consultants and data scientists say. “We know that underwriting is the next big thing” to mine online postings, SPR’s Mr. Vogt said.
Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal
As PG has mentioned before, he is extraordinarily thankful that social media didn’t exist during his college years. Suffice to say, he has changed quite a bit since then.