Dec 13, 2019

Managing data from all those dockless scooters

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A new consortium is trying to wrangle how to manage and share data gathered from all those dockless scooters and e-bikes popping up in cities.

Why it matters: Scooter and bike trip patterns can yield a lot of valuable information that public agencies can use to manage their infrastructure and set regulations. But the push for data access also raises concerns about privacy.

What's happening: SAE International has pulled together cities, public agencies and micromobility providers like Uber, Lyft, Spin and Bird to try to create best practices for sharing trip data.

  • The initial efforts will focus on trying to establish standard metrics for evaluation and streamline privacy protection methods, says Annie Chang, head of new mobility at SAE and director of the new Mobility Data Collaborative.
  • "The landscape is evolving so quickly, we're keeping our eyes open for what we should focus on next," Chang said.

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Inside Uber's privacy battle with Los Angeles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is waging a battle against Los Angeles' transportation department over the city's new data-sharing requirements for scooter and bike rentals.

Why it matters: Uber is an unlikely champion of consumer privacy rights given its own missteps, but privacy experts say L.A.'s new standard could have a significant impact on urban transportation services, their users and what data cities can access.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

EU opinion could shape future of EU/U.S. data-sharing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An adviser to Europe's highest court told its judges Thursday to uphold the contractual terms that Facebook and other companies rely on to transfer billions of dollars worth of data on Europeans to other countries.

Why it matters: The case's outcome will not only determine whether companies need to rethink how they protect users' privacy and data, but could also shape a deeper transatlantic divide for the internet.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019

The privacy worries with smart cities

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Momentum for smart cities projects, which has been fed by big promises from industry and big hopes in government, is slowing down in the face of a wave of public skepticism.

Driving the news: Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs, which has proposed a futuristic smart-city development for Toronto's waterfront, has pledged not to sell personal data collected at the project or use it for advertising to assuage privacy concerns.

Go deeperArrowDec 24, 2019