The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Hosts Webinar on the Transportation Data Privacy Tool

The USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) is hosting a webinar to update the public on the Transportation Data Privacy Protection Tool.


Transportation safety and mobility applications rely on time-sequenced location data, which could allow bad actors to discover an individual's travel patterns. Simply deleting identifiers such as names and addresses from the data does not eliminate the possibility that people's identities could be inferred from their travel patterns. Concerns over safeguarding privacy lead organizations to limit data releases, thereby restricting efforts to openly share transportation data that can offer tremendous benefits.

The USDOT has developed a method to protect privacy using a combination of map data and information theory. The result is context-specific strategies for hiding sensitive location and route information. This approach preserves precise location data characteristics that are necessary for effective safety and mobility applications, but mitigates the risk of the data unintentionally revealing any individual's travel patterns--protecting personal privacy. Moreover, it ensures that data quality remains high enough to support improved transportation operations and planning.

Webinar Overview

The target audience for this webinar includes ITS Program Managers at the state and local level, agencies contemplating connected vehicle deployments, transportation agency CIOs, and anyone interested in improving transportation data availability while safeguarding privacy. Learning objectives for this webinar include:

  • Introduce time-sequenced geolocation data
  • Discuss potential privacy risks
  • Demonstrate the new method for selectively eliminating elements from geolocation data streams to protect travelers' privacy
  • Discuss initial validation testing of new approach
  • Discuss potential use cases for privacy protection tool.


Ariel Gold, Data Program Manager, USDOT: Ms. Gold is the Data Program Manager for the ITS JPO. In this capacity, she drives the development of data-related strategies and products to support the next generation of ITS deployments. Previously, Ms. Gold managed the open data program at Amazon Web Services (AWS) and led the launch of public data projects in partnership with organizations such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the International Computer Science Institute. Prior to AWS, Ms. Gold served as a consultant and strategist at the Office of the U.S. Chief Information Officer and played a lead role in the development and execution of strategic initiatives including the U.S. Digital Government Strategy and Open Data Policy.

Jason M. Carter, Ph.D., Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL): Dr. Carter is a research scientist and the Director of the Center for Trustworthy Embedded Systems at ORNL. For the past 5 years, he has been the principal investigator for several connected vehicle (V2x) privacy and security projects for the USDOT. Quantitative privacy; de-identification of geospatial trajectories; utility analysis of transportation data; and large-scale, privacy-preserving public key cryptosystems are areas of interest. Dr. Carter has also done work in energy grid security, digital forensics, and large-scale data analysis architectures. Prior to joining ORNL, he managed an automotive parts manufacturing facility for DENSO and piloted surveillance aircraft for the U.S. Navy. He has degrees in computer science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.


Title: Transportation Data Privacy Protection Tool
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET
Registration: Registration Link