Drive Sweden Smart Mobility Newsletter reported last week on MIT’s new study on privacy threats introduced by MaaS (mobility-as-a-service). The concern originates from the massive amount of data collected through various service operators.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institutes of Technology have found that individual data that was supposed to be anonymous could be effectively identified through combing two datasets collected from different actors, reported by MIT News. This poses great privacy risks to users of the mobility services. Kondor et al (2018) confirmed the traceability of individual’s mobility data in their article “Towards matching user mobility traces in large-scale datasets“. According to their study, combining two datasets, one from a mobility network operator and one from a local transportation system, can demask 17% of people based on just one week’s movement data regardless that all the data points were anonymous. When using one-month data, more than 55% of people can be successfully identified through the two datasets.

Daniel Kondor, a postdoc of Future Urban Mobility Group at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology as well as one of the authors of the paper, said: “As researchers, we believe that working with large-scale datasets can allow discovering unprecedented insights about human society and mobility, allowing us to plan cities better. Nevertheless, it is important to show if identification is possible, so people can be aware of the potential risks of sharing mobility data.”

For the original news, please read at MIT News.


If you have questions, please contact Anne Faxér at RISE Viktoria.