Sports Betters And Bookies Are Now Wagering On Players’ Biometric Data

The proliferation of biometric data and its legitimization as a “normal” form of information that can be bought, sold, or traded is having an interesting effect on sports betting, where people are not making wagers concerning teams and individuals based on said information as the Wall Street Journal reports.

Commercializing biometric data poses more conundrums. Information about an athlete’s vertical jump height, running speed, heart rate and sleep patterns could be valuable for sportsbooks.

Biometric-based betting is still in its infancy. Both MLB and the NBA ban commercial use of players’ biometric data. The NFL’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement didn’t specifically ban commercial use of biometric data, but says the league may require players to wear sensors or tracking devices to collect information about athlete performance and movements. Separately, a 2017 deal between the NFL players union and Whoop Inc., a Boston-based fitness-tracking company, supplied athletes with wrist-strap devices that track physical strain, recovery and sleep patterns. The deal allowed players to sell their Whoop data.

Some of the questions involving privacy, security, access and ownership rights could be sorted out in negotiations between owners and players’ unions. But it might take litigation to settle exactly who can collect, buy and sell that personal information. Federal and state health-data privacy laws could muddy the picture even more. (source)

The fact that bookies are now using biometric data to make wagers on a player’s health, while it has interesting implications for the future, is also a warning sign to those about insurance companies.

Right now, insurance companies use such data to “wager” on illness in people, and essentially to try and keep collecting premiums while denying them coverage.

The continued proliferation of invasive biometric data will continue into the corporate world, where it may reach a point that not only will even more unreasonable levels of data than what is already collected will have to be taken as a part of “standard requirements” in the future, but an unfavorable result on a non-determinative test (one that does not say that one has an illness, but based on some random points might show a potential for such in the future) could result in a denial of insurance or medical coverage at all.

This is about more than betting.

This is the future of eugenics evolving into something new, because if there is money to be made in it, then while bookies may be small, insurance companies operate much larger and powerful financial gangs, and they will want to get their piece of the financial pie available to them for all that they can take.

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