On June 9, Washington, D.C. headquartered The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud announced the launch of its study addressing the ethical use of data for anti-fraud purposes.

The Coalition’s Ethical Use of Data in Fighting Insurance Fraud Study will be conducted over the coming months in partnership with Protiviti, a global consulting firm providing antifraud consulting services and operational assistance to insurance carriers across the globe.

The data ethics study will begin with a survey of American consumers, insurance professionals, regulators and lawmakers, ultimately to be used by insurance professionals, state and federal regulators and elected legislators at both the federal and state levels to help guide future corporate decisions and public policy. The survey will seek individual responses regarding use of personal data when its intended purpose is directed to protecting both consumers and insurers from the high cost of insurance fraud.

According to the Coalition Executive Director Matthew J. Smith, “Corporate or government agency responses are not being solicited, as part of the goal of the study is to help guide those agencies and officials in adopting proper laws and regulations to make sure consumer data is properly and effectively protected, while also allowing data to be used to identify and fight insurance fraud crimes.” As of 2022, insurance fraud is estimated to cost American consumers more than $308.6 billion every year. Smith added, “Studies point to consumers correctly wanting their personal data protected. This study is designed to gain insight into what those opinions and attitudes may be when data is specifically directed to protecting consumers from insurance fraud.”

While the study seeks overall responses, examples of how personal data may be used to fight insurance fraud include technologies such as voice or facial recognition, the use of license plate readers to track or recover stolen vehicles and photo analysis to determine if documentation to support an auto or property damage claim is authentic or a downloaded internet image, said the Coalition in a news release.

A sampling of the 18 questions making up the survey included: “Which of the following do you think is the best way for personal data to be protected?” Possible responses ranged from there should be a worldwide standard, to the U.S. should adopt a national standard, to each state should adopt a standard, to businesses and organizations should be free to develop their own data standards without regulatory restrictions.

The survey also includes a trust ranking of federal government agencies, state government agencies, insurance companies, financial institutions, and other businesses. The survey also queries individuals to opine on whether insurers should be allowed to share fraud discoveries with law enforcement agencies and other insurers.

The Coalition has retained an independent research firm which will ensure responses match the demographic composition of American consumers. Plans are to analyze the data once the study closes with study results to be released later this year.