20 Cities Jointly Release Privacy Principles for Mobility Data

The Privacy Principles for Mobility Data was recently presented at the annual North American Bikeshare & Scootershare Association (NABSA) conference giving a set of guidelines over how to protect riders’ data. The guidelines were jointly developed between more than 20 cities, privacy advocates, technology companies, mobility service providers and organizations such as NABSA, the New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO), and Open Mobility Foundation (OMF).

With on-going technological advancements, more and more data can be collected from transportation systems. Conflicts have arisen in the past, as cities want the data to aid in creating policies and regulations, while private mobility companies have sometimes been averse to sharing their data. 

“The history of ride-hail in cities is one in which city governments largely were cut out from having regulatory oversight over the services as they were deployed and often didn’t even have the most basic data about how those services were operating on public streets,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, executive director of OMF.

The stakeholders are now working towards building strong protection frameworks to ensure that data is shared without sacrificing privacy rights.

The seven principles outlined in the paper include:

  1. We will uphold the rights of individuals to privacy in their movements;
  2. We will ensure community engagement and input, especially from those that have been historically marginalized, as we define our purposes, practices, and policies related to mobility data;
  3. We will communicate our purposes, practices, and policies around mobility data to the people and communities we serve;
  4. We will collect and retain the minimum amount of mobility data that is necessary to fulfill our purposes;
  5. We will establish policies and practices that protect mobility data privacy;
  6. We will protect privacy when sharing mobility data; and,
  7. We will clearly and specifically define our purposes for working with mobility data.

“The goal of this list was not to be prescriptive, but rather to provide guidance and inspiration for organizations that are working to implement principles,” said Franklin-Hodge.