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High quality traffic data relies on context. And that means being able to identify the reason for the journey, the industry, the vehicle type, the purpose of the trip, the speed, the direction of travel and the hour of the day. Only once you’ve gained access to this data can you truly understand the traffic challenges – and potential solutions – that your city or state is confronted with.

Armed with these insights, you can create safer, more efficient and more sustainable corridors for residents and drivers. But the privacy of individual drivers – and the businesses they work for – is just as important. So how do you balance the benefits of context-rich data with maintaining the privacy of both the individual and the business?

The answer lies in our three core pillars – people, processes and technology. We have implemented several technical and administrative safeguards to ensure individuals, vehicles and customers cannot be identified. So when it comes to high quality traffic data, innovation and privacy can co-exist.

That means government departments can use our solutions with complete confidence – safe in the knowledge that our solutions will help to protect their citizens and businesses, and keep them compliant with privacy laws.

Aerial image of crowded parking lot

People

Privacy is ingrained into the culture of Geotab ITS. Whenever a new employee joins, they have to undertake privacy training – and repeat this training regularly throughout their employment.

This training isn’t just limited to our employees, either. We require all new ITS partners to take three tiers of learning modules: data analytics, data privacy and, finally, platform privacy. At the end of this training, we test partners and only certify them to work with our platforms if they’ve passed the qualification program.

What’s more, a privacy specialist – under the oversight of the Chief Privacy Officer and the Data Risk Committee – is embedded within our data and analytics teams to ensure data privacy and ethics are considered and prioritized at every step of the data analytics life cycle.

The data risk committee consists of data experts, legal experts and privacy advocates. They meet regularly to analyze our upcoming innovations, and make sure that we’re acting in the interests of our customers and the public.

 

Processes

We operate under a robust data privacy framework, which is grounded in ‘privacy by design’ best practices. As part of this, we employ third-party professionals to examine the layers of our data and check for identifiability. Good Research, a privacy technology company, performs periodic tests, evaluations of our privacy by design practices and motivated intruder attacks.

Some projects require even more diligence. For any telematics use case involving artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML), we deploy a rigorous ethical review process. First, our data scientists will complete a checklist which helps them to identify what to implement, and how, in order to deliver value-adding products while complying with privacy requirements.

This is followed by a mandatory data and analytics ethics impact assessment, which must be completed and submitted to key Geotab privacy and legal stakeholders. We also undertake a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA), which identifies any possible privacy risks, as well as the potential impact of said risks, and methods for mitigating against them. These processes ensure that we’ve always reviewed use cases for potential ethical impact before any data processing, modelling, or algorithmic activities using personal or customer data have taken place.

Technology

In addition to all of the above, Geotab uses advanced technical controls to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII). As part of this process, raw data is transformed to ensure that the identity of individuals cannot be revealed. This technology improves anonymity by removing and/or randomizing personal identifiers such as residential locations and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). Geotab also utilizes Motivated Intruder Attacks (MIAs) to test the quality of our data anonymization by attempting to de-anonymize the data. Between our data sanitization practices and quality control testing, customer and business data is extremely well protected.

Conclusion

These three core tenants help Geotab successfully deliver the insights you need – while rigorously protecting the privacy of individuals. In the process, we ensure that privacy doesn’t get in the way of innovation – and innovation never compromises privacy. Instead, they work together within an outstanding platform for Departments of Transportation who are looking to create safer, more efficient roads for their users.

Our Altitude platform delivers rich commercial and consumer vehicle insights for smarter traffic planning and management. Find out more about Altitude here, or get in touch today to discover how we can help your department achieve its goals.

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