The Business Case for Mobility Data Sharing

Security and privacy are proving to be two of the thorniest issues when it comes to sharing of mobility data. Consider the “Mobility Data Specification (MDS),” a protocol developed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to promote information exchange around scooter-sharing and bike-sharing services. The MDS is a good idea in theory, but in practice threatens to seriously compromise individual privacy by making it possible to link travel records to specific individuals—revealing where people live and when people may leave their homes vacant.

The only way that mobility data sharing can work is if governments, businesses, and consumer advocates work together to establish sensible and mutually agreeable data-sharing practices.

A new paper from UC Davis presents a four-part framework for how to do just that. Each step will require buy-in from all stakeholders to be successful. But there are actions that businesses can take to lead the way.