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Re: [betaNYC] A Day in the Life of a New York City Taxi

From: Juan-Pablo V.
Sent on: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 6:03 PM
Not a fan of surveillance, and I think some form of opt-in is probably necessary to address a lot of data privacy issues, here and elsewhere.

It should be noted, however, that there are more issues at play: besides powering sofwater and data viz, another key use case of gathering data - and arguably, the most powerful use case for the public sector - is data analytics. And in the world of statistics, sampling - in other words, what gets measured - is huge. If people are opting out of being in the sample, that will probably skew any conclusions you can draw from the data, because the kinds of people who opt-in often behave differently from those who opt out.

- Juan-Pablo Velez
[address removed]

- Juan-Pablo Velez
[masked]
[address removed]



On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 5:01 PM, Jeremy Barth <[address removed]> wrote:
Yes, a thoughtful piece.

Here's a possible mosaic effect -- determining if a given cabbie is a) an observant Muslim who b) stops for prayer at the prescribed daily times (or is shirking his religious duties).  Trip start and stop times, plus possibly GPS, could decide the question.

On Jul 15, 2014, at 4:23 PM, Steven Adler <[address removed]> wrote:

Andrew,

Good blog post.  In general, there is only an issue here because the Taxi Driver data was published without inviting driver(s) to opt-in to being tracked for a day, week, month, year, or eternity.  Whether one thinks taxi drivers are public or private individuals performing a service for a fee, it is better for everyone in society if we apply common courtesy and ask them if they mind monitoring before even using their not-so-well-anonymized data.

Tell them what we are doing.  Show them how.  Ask for permission.  Record the Opt-in and filter out the Opt-outs.


Best Regards,

Steve

Motto: "Do First, Think, Do it Again"



From: Andrew Nicklin <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Date: 07/15/2014 03:29 PM
Subject: Re: [betaNYC] A Day in the Life of a New York City Taxi





While we wait for Chris to respond, here's a link to some of my own thoughts on it, in case some of the folks on this mailing list haven't already seen it.
http://technickle.nicklin.info/post/89709905713/contemplating-the-mosaic-effect-of-free-taxi

The tl;dr version is that we need to be looking beyond the immediate privacy implications at the broader issues it raises for open data and freedom of information.

-Andrew


On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM, Jeremy Barth <[address removed]> wrote:
Chris, I'm curious what your views are on the de-anonymization issue?  Over in computer security forums (here among many), the NYC taxi data dump is being treated as a privacy fiasco, precisely because of the poorly-executed anonymization.


On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:01 AM, Chris Whong <[address removed]> wrote:
Thanks for the comments.  The data don't include the make/model of the vehicle.  Since the medallions are de-anonymizable, I wonder if you could determine the make and model from the medallion somehow (I think this is a stretch).

I like the traffic density idea, but I am not sure how I could get that kind of data on-demand for a given taxi trip, especially since these are historic.  Good idea though!

-Chris


On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM, Steve C <[address removed]> wrote:
Great visualization! I like Steve's environmental layer suggestion (my background is air pollution control / air quality)... a couple ideas:

- Using Google traffic data (is it easily accessible?) to see the percentage of time a random taxi's estimated route is in a given traffic density (green, yellow, red)
- Distinguish b/w type of vehicle (is it possible to know whether it is hybrid/conventional and make/model?) to then estimate tailpipe emissions over the course of the day and route (I can help with this if needed)
- Air sensors mounted on taxis and vehicles is inevitable in my opinion, and that's when things will get really interesting 



On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 8:55 AM, Steven Hodas <[address removed]> wrote:
Ditto, it's fantastic.

----------------------------------------------
Steven Hodas
[masked]





On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 8:08 AM, Florent Peyre <[address removed]> wrote:
Pretty awesome visualization Chris




On Jul 14, 2014, at 6:46 AM, Chris Whong <[address removed]> wrote:

... I suppose a link would be nice.

http://nyctaxi.herokuapp.com/


On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 6:44 AM, Chris Whong <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi BetaNYC, 

I'm excited to share this little side project that I've been working on with the FOIL'd NYC taxi data.  It offers a glimpse into a single 24 hour period, for a single taxi, and tallies up fares, taxes, and passengers.  

I've already seen some interesting things, such as unexpected gaps during prime service hours for some taxis (why?  Long lunch breaks?  Shift Change?)  as well as some pretty big variance in daily earnings.

I hope you like it!  Blog post coming on the tech recipe, there's a lot going on under the hood.  

-Chris



<Fullscreen_7_14_14__6_36_AM.png>





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