hackhubways

The progression of open data initiatives by big cities like Boston and New York have been hailed as progressive. However, without proper care for the anonymization of public data, personal information can be identified. Sometimes, the more data released, the more vulnerable the public becomes.

Within our project, we used different data analysis techniques to identify individuals by their cycling commute habits available through the Blue Bikes' open datasets. We determined, with high confidence, their age, approximate place of work, and their home. Only 1.9% of Bostonians commute to work by bike and 2.1% regularly use Blue Bikes. Frequent usage of Blue Bikes for work is easily uniquely identifiable and it is the responsibility of the city to do better to anonymize its citizens' data.

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