William Vidonja was discussing the upcoming regulation at the ABI’s data conference

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The incoming EU Data Protection Regulation would leave insurers unable to tackle fraud as comprehensively as they do now, Insurance Europe has warned.

Insurance Europe head of conduct of business William Vidonja, speaking at the ABI’s data conference, claimed that the new regulation would prohibit insurers using social media to tackle fraud, meaning that honest customers would suffer.

He said: “The regulation would simply prevent insurers from combating fraud. Under this legislation, there would be no legal basis allowing insurers to use social media data against fraud.

”If they did, it would go to the courts and would take years and years. Time they simply don’t have when tackling fraud.”

Vidonja also claimed that underwriting from online profiles would be prohibited, putting a restriction on the development of tailored policies.

“This will prevent insurance companies from doing risk assessments, because of restrictions on profiling. Profile exist in the digital world, through Facebook and Google, but companies won’t be allowed to use these to underwrite.”

The new EU Data Protection Regulation is at the trialogue stage, where its wording is scrutinised by Europe’s three governing bodies; the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Union.

Despite his warnings, Vidonja praised two aspects of the new regulations framework.

He added: “The existing regulation is from 1995. In 1995 we had never heard of Google or Facebook and now they run the world. It is in dire need of updating, so this is necessary.

”Similarly, it is good because this is a regulation and not a directive. Finally, the same set of rules will be available to the whole of the EU. This single framework is the next step to a single market of digitalisation.”