The new treasure

Forget about gold and diamonds; data is the new treasure. The effective use of data has time and again impressed participants at insurtech start-up events. There have been instances where insurtech start-ups have showcased products, such as wearable electronic devices that are able to accurately and effectively collect data based on the behaviours of those wearing the product. The amount and accuracy of the data obtained is simply amazing.

One lesson to learn is that insurers must customize their products to make customers feel special. Insurers must somehow create trust, as customers are no longer satisfied with generic services derived from small sample sizes and considerations that they themselves may not necessarily care about.

When is our data secretly collected on a daily basis?

Systems that monitor user interests and data are often embedded in today's social media platforms and applications. If the amount of data gathered directly correlates to the time spent on social media, then Thailand would certainly be in a good position to maximize the use of customer data. The country's population is very active on social media. In fact, the kingdom has broken many records for its cumulative usage of social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. However, the handling of data raises important concerns, particularly on infringement of privacy.

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The country's population is very active on social media.

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Data privacy in the context of insurtech

Data today no longer comes in a physical form delivered on paper. Technology has allowed the unlimited exchange of data online, which is painfully difficult to trace. Therefore, at least a minimum of regulatory oversight is necessary.

There has been example of insurtech company pushing boundaries in Big Data and Information Technology, by creating new visions and next-generation solutions. The company simultaneously handles massive amounts of multiple kinds of structured and unstructured data. One of its services is helping insurance companies transform their business into data-driven organizations. This can result in easy-to-use, affordable, and highly effective technology for supporting management strategies or daily operational decisions.

The service can turn data that may first seem irrelevant (think geo-data, photos, videos from in-car cameras and drones) into data that is highly sought after by insurers.

Insurtech immunity

In order to strengthen the immunity of insurtechs from legal threats, legal instruments such as data sharing or data transfer agreements are necessary. Experienced legal advisors can greatly assist with these concerns and guide operators through this challenging new territory.

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For insurtech, at least a minimum of regulatory oversight is necessary.

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Current status of the Thai data protection laws

Following the cabinet's withdrawal of the first draft, the new Personal Data Protection Bill (the "New PDPB") was drawn up and a public hearing was conducted from 22 January to 6 February 2018. At present, the New PDPB has been approved by the Cabinet in May 2018, and is now undergoing review by the Council of State and the National Legislative Assembly (the “NLA”) for further consideration.

What should insurers know about the new bill?

Our Technology, Media & Telecoms team recently published an article "New Draft Thai Personal Data Protection Bill: Extraterritorial Applicability Introduced" which provides comprehensive information on the new bill.