Databite No. 14: Chris Whong

The Privacy Implications of Publicly-Available Taxi Trip Data

11.06.14 - 12:00 pm

Union Square Ventures
New York, NY

Databites are Data & Society's weekly lunch conversations focused on unresolved questions and timely topics of interest to our community. To request an invitation, please email events at data society dot net.

Chris Whong on The Privacy Implications of Publicly-Available Taxi Trip Data:

Chris Whong will explain how and why he used FOIL to get NYC taxi trip data, how and why he shared it publicly when nobody else had before, and where it’s gone since he shared it. The privacy concerns are twofold: the privacy of taxi drivers, and the privacy of passengers. Chris can discuss potential violations of privacy and show examples of how people have identified individual passenger trips with a small amount of information. Re-identification is possible in some instances, and Chris will ask, “Is it such a bad thing?” (The Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has limited new FOIL requests, making the new data much less useful to researchers as a result of de-anonymization of medallions and hack licenses.)


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