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Center for Transportation Studies


Avoiding the Matrix: How to Build Privacy into Intelligent Transportation Systems

Thursday, October 21

Part of the Fall 2010 Advanced Transportation Technologies Seminar Series. Presented in conjunction with the Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow Council meeting.


Due to equipment problems, the audio quality of the webinar recording is very poor. The presentation is available (3.3 MB PDF) instead. We apologize for the inconvenience.

About the Seminar

Privacy issues posed by advanced transportation systems sometimes spin into nightmare scenarios of individuals trapped in dystopian information grids, a concern epitomized by The Matrix of film infamy. Apprehensions about an omnipresent transportation matrix powered by intelligent transportation systems (ITS) constantly generating and using personal information about everyone pose distinctive policy problems. The public does not want ITS technology to become a tool for mastering individual human freedom, and public support and acceptance of ITS technology depend upon responding wisely to such concerns.

In this seminar, Dorothy Glancy explored two examples of ITS technology that have been proactive with regard to privacy issues: the TravInfo project in the San Francisco Bay Area and the much larger USDOT Vehicle Infrastructure Integration program that is now part of IntelliDrive. These two systems have applied distinctive approaches in building privacy into different types of ITS technology. They suggest some strategies for advanced transportation systems to avoid becoming part of the matrix.


Dorothy Glancy, Professor of Law, Santa Clara Law

More Information

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