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Re: [betaNYC] speed camera tickets on the open data portal

From: user 3.
Sent on: Thursday, March 27, 2014 2:39 PM
I can see the potential value proposition in measuring speeds, but I'm not convinced it outweighs the value of privacy.  I don't think most casual internet users (or BetaNYC geeks) are really going down to the court house and making a records request but I do see Axciom and their ilk datamining this trove of public data for license plate numbers and matching them to data previously purchased from the DMV or other data brokers.  I just don't see the benefit to ordinary people from having personally-identifiable data like this made more easily accessible but I do see powerful economic interests getting even more powerful through datamining of non-anonymized records.



On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 1:16 PM, Richard Dunks <[address removed]> wrote:
For this particular instance of registering speeding tickets, there isn’t much utility, but in measuring traffic speeds, recording the license plate is important to measure the speed of cars from camera to camera to estimate travel time between areas not covered by the camera. So there is a value proposition to recording license plates for data analysis.

As to the privacy issues, I don’t know the license plates of even my closest family members. If I did, I’m sure I could easily go to the court house and access the data through a standard records request since that, like many other public records, are publicly available.  Having public authorities release too much public information through open data is a valid concern, but I think it needs to be tempered by the reasonableness of the privacy concern given the many other methods of obtaining the same (if not more privacy-invading) information through other means.

There is also a value to exposing this information for entrepreneurs who can monitor this feed on behalf of motorists who may not know about their speeding ticket until there’s been a warrant issued for their arrest. 

Richard

On Mar 27, 2014, at 11:40 AM, Lothar Krause <[address removed]> wrote:

1. Adding the license plate number does not add value for further analysis.  I don't think the actual license plate information contains any further information except the identity of the car.  You can check if there are repeat offenders but the same can be achieved after the data has been anonymizied. 

2. People who are less tech savvy are very concerned about privacy on the internet.  I fear a backlash to open data if public agencies publish (potentially)  personally identifiable information.

This article explores the subject further: http://blog.varonis.com/new-pii-discovered-license-plate-pictures/



On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:57 AM, akil harris <[address removed]> wrote:
What's the concern about state and license plate data being included? I've been digging around this dataset a bit for the past week or so I think there's some interesting information to gather out of it. 


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM, Lothar Krause <[address removed]> wrote:
I am concerned that the state and license plate are part of the feed.  I can image in 10 years we'll have perfect face recognition software and the new jay-walking cameras will take your photo crossing the street and your SSN will appear in a data feed of summonses.

Lothar



On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 6:01 PM, Anna <[address removed]> wrote:
Absolutely awesome!  In Jersey City, we have been asking our council person to address pedestrian safety around four streets where we have the most speeding.  Speed cameras and posting violations on the open data portal is a brilliant idea.  Thank you for sharing.

Anna D Lukasiak
Information Technology


On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 5:40 PM, fkh <[address removed]> wrote:
This is cool -- speed camera tickets are in the open data portal, in the "Parking Violations Issued" dataset, code 36.


Includes the make, body, plate type and plate. 

From a quick look at the data, I see that Queens Blvd is the top location for catching speeders, and the most popular vehicle among speed demons is a Toyota.

Frank




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