Big Brother in the Passenger Seat?

DTRIC Website

If you picked up a copy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser last week, you might have seen an ad wrapped around the front of the paper for the Akamai Rater, a new insurance product from DTRIC Insurance.

The ad came one day after the state put out a press release about the same product, which determines your insurance rate by tracking how you drive.

But one thing the publicity over the new device doesn't tell you — similar gadgets are under fire on the mainland for privacy issues.

The press release announced the state insurance commissioner had approved of the device, describing the Akamai Rater as a program "geared toward saving Hawaii's safe drivers on their auto insurance." It called DTRIC the "first insurer in Hawaii" to sell a so-called pay-as-you-drive device.

DTRIC's ad also used the words, "First in Hawaii," and said that the device would provide "huge savings on your auto insurance."

On the face of it, the ad and the state's press release had the ring of a well-timed public relations campaign.

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