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September 30, 2021

Data Regulations

BIPA is gaining steam and generating a wave of lawsuits

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What: Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) is pioneering privacy protection for biometric identifiers such as voiceprints and facial recognition data. BIPA regulates how private companies use this data, including requiring consent for collection, security standards for data storage, and regulations around destruction of biometric identifiers. BIPA has generated a wave of lawsuits in recent years against everything from virtual try-on technology for glasses to voice-powered technologies like Siri. 

Why it matters: Currently BIPA (or a similar statute) is only active in Illinois, Texas, and Washington, but the law represents a new peril that insurers need to tackle. The regulations are relatively simple and maintaining compliance isn’t complicated, but it creates a serious risk if insurers or policyholders are unaware of the need. 

Read: Analyzing BIPA’s newest class action trend: Targeting the use of voice-powered technologies

Cognitive Technologies

Could a new study be the key to accelerated learning?

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What: The results of a new study using neurostimulators to help stroke patients regain limb control have dramatically accelerated the physical therapy process. This has some people wondering if the same technique could be used to accelerate other physical learning processes and capabilities, particularly for athletes.  

Why it matters: This is a great example of innovation outpacing insurance offerings: how does insurance adapt to a world in which people self-experiment? If use of this technology becomes mainstream it could have an interesting impact on loss-control for workers comp, as learning for proper lifting/moving techniques and other such trainings could be accelerated.

Read: A Stroke Study Reveals the Future of Human Augmentation

Something cool

Neuralink’s monkey can play mind pong

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Just for fun: Neuralink is a neurotechnology company developing an implantable brain–machine interface that reads brain activity and translates it to inputs for different systems. With growing success in brain data analysis, Neuralink can read its monkey’s brain activity and translate it into intended actions in a game of pong. 

Why this is cool: Although not directly impacting insurance currently, Neuralink is proving that a high fidelity brain-machine interface is possible. The first expected application is to give paralyzed individuals the ability to use computers without their hands or voice, accelerating inputs and thereby opening up vast opportunities for those people. 

Read: The first fully-implanted 1000+ channel brain-machine interface

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