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Connected/Automated Vehicles Privacy Issues
53rd Annual Transportation Law Workshop
Thomas J. Bamonte (@TomBamonte)
General Counsel
July 14, 2014
2
Overview
3
Overview of Highway Tolling
• Toll highways/bridges in over 30 states
• 2,900 miles of tolled interstates in 21 states
• 5+ billion trips handled annually
• Tolls = approx. 30% of federal gas tax revenue
• Industry moving to “all electronic tolling” (AET)
• AET makes tolling a more viable alternative to gas tax funding
4
U.S. Toll Highway Network
5
Mechanics of Electronic Tolling
6
Growing Transponder Account Customers
7
Pay-by-Plate Customers
8
Trip Data Collection
9
Emerging Tolling Methods
10
Toll Violation Enforcement: ALPR
11
HOT Lane Enforcement
12
Continual Video Coverage
13
“Black Box” Event Data Recorders
• Capture crash-related data
o Pre-crash vehicle dynamics
and system status
o Driver inputs
o Vehicle crash signature
o Restraint usage/deployment
status
o Post-crash data such as the
activation of an automatic
collision notification system
• Installed in most vehicles—
NTHSA mandate forward
14
Highway User Information Collected
Customer
Account
• Home address
• Personal
financial
information
• (Non)payment
information
Vehicle ID –
license plate
and VIN
Vehicle
Occupant
Data
Travel
Pattern Data
•Time, place,
direction,
vehicle
•Speed derived
•Years of data
Vehicle
Operation &
Event Data
15
Current Protections of Tollway User Privacy
• Contract: Transponder
customer agreements
• Customer account and trip
data shielded from general
disclosure; use allowed –
o When conducting tolling
business
o In response to court order
(e.g., warrant)
o When aggregated (e.g., studies)
o High data protection standards
in place (e.g., PCI compliance)
16
State Law Protections
Customer
account
information &
trip data =
FOIA
exception
Mandated
privacy policies
& data security
requirements
Laws governing
ownership &
use of event
data recorders
General data
security &
breach notice
requirements
ALPR
regulation
17
Federal Law Protections
• Drivers Privacy
Protection Act
• Various consumer law
protections
• Federal legislation
introduced to protect
locational privacy—
including vehicles
• Jones & Riley decisions
18
Emerging Privacy Challenges
Vehicle as Cellphone on Wheels
19
Vehicle as Data Generator
20
Vehicle Data Mining and Rewards
Drivewise by AllstateDash.by
21
Driver Fitness Monitoring
22
Vehicle-to-Merchant Data Mining/Use
Google Car as
platform for searches
Vehicle displays
targeted advertising
from nearby
merchants
• iBeacon for automobiles
Consumer data
privacy issues similar
to other
devices/platforms
23
Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Data Mining
Highway authorities may have
interest in harvesting data
o Safety: Identify vehicles
behaving erratically
o Payment: Identify vehicles
for toll payment
o Enforcement: Identify stolen
vehicles or vehicle involved
in commission of crime
o Identify: Hazardous
situations (e.g., swerving
around object) and
communicate downstream
o Traffic management:
Immediate notice of
slowdowns and congested
areas
24
Challenges: Unrelenting Gaze
• ALPR deployed widely but not
regulated
• GPS data uploaded from
smartphones
• 24/7 video surveillance
• Peering inside cars with infrared
• M2M data sharing
• Will surveillance state/economy
prompt a consumer backlash?
25
Conclusions
Transportation lawyers will have to become
privacy law experts
Highway authorities becoming more like utilities w/
associated consumer business issues
Toll highway authorities have head start on managing
customer relationships & protecting trip data
Highway travel subject to intensive surveillance
Patchwork of state laws may be reflective of
limited public concerns about privacy to date
That may change. . . .
26
Established Principles
Customer account and trip data shielded from general
disclosure; use allowed:
When conducting tolling business
In response to court order (e.g., warrant)
When aggregated/made anonymous (e.g., studies)
High data protection standards (e.g., PCI compliance)
Vehicle data belongs to vehicle owner
No transfer of data to 3d parties w/out consent
27
Lessons
• Highway authorities are
increasingly high-volume
consumer businesses with
concrete
• Connected vehicle raises
multiple privacy concerns not
addressed by existing toll
authority-customer framework
• Managing the technologies that
put vehicle travel under an
unrelenting gaze pose pressing
challenges in near future
28
What Lies Ahead: Connected Vehicles
• Connected vehicle applications
provide connectivity:
o Among vehicles to enable crash
prevention
o Between vehicles and the
infrastructure to enable safety,
mobility and environmental benefits
o Among vehicles, infrastructure, and
wireless devices to provide
continuous real-time connectivity to
all system users

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Connected/ Automated Vehicle Privacy Issues: Lessons From Toll Highway Authorities

  • 1. Connected/Automated Vehicles Privacy Issues 53rd Annual Transportation Law Workshop Thomas J. Bamonte (@TomBamonte) General Counsel July 14, 2014
  • 3. 3 Overview of Highway Tolling • Toll highways/bridges in over 30 states • 2,900 miles of tolled interstates in 21 states • 5+ billion trips handled annually • Tolls = approx. 30% of federal gas tax revenue • Industry moving to “all electronic tolling” (AET) • AET makes tolling a more viable alternative to gas tax funding
  • 13. 13 “Black Box” Event Data Recorders • Capture crash-related data o Pre-crash vehicle dynamics and system status o Driver inputs o Vehicle crash signature o Restraint usage/deployment status o Post-crash data such as the activation of an automatic collision notification system • Installed in most vehicles— NTHSA mandate forward
  • 14. 14 Highway User Information Collected Customer Account • Home address • Personal financial information • (Non)payment information Vehicle ID – license plate and VIN Vehicle Occupant Data Travel Pattern Data •Time, place, direction, vehicle •Speed derived •Years of data Vehicle Operation & Event Data
  • 15. 15 Current Protections of Tollway User Privacy • Contract: Transponder customer agreements • Customer account and trip data shielded from general disclosure; use allowed – o When conducting tolling business o In response to court order (e.g., warrant) o When aggregated (e.g., studies) o High data protection standards in place (e.g., PCI compliance)
  • 16. 16 State Law Protections Customer account information & trip data = FOIA exception Mandated privacy policies & data security requirements Laws governing ownership & use of event data recorders General data security & breach notice requirements ALPR regulation
  • 17. 17 Federal Law Protections • Drivers Privacy Protection Act • Various consumer law protections • Federal legislation introduced to protect locational privacy— including vehicles • Jones & Riley decisions
  • 18. 18 Emerging Privacy Challenges Vehicle as Cellphone on Wheels
  • 19. 19 Vehicle as Data Generator
  • 20. 20 Vehicle Data Mining and Rewards Drivewise by AllstateDash.by
  • 22. 22 Vehicle-to-Merchant Data Mining/Use Google Car as platform for searches Vehicle displays targeted advertising from nearby merchants • iBeacon for automobiles Consumer data privacy issues similar to other devices/platforms
  • 23. 23 Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Data Mining Highway authorities may have interest in harvesting data o Safety: Identify vehicles behaving erratically o Payment: Identify vehicles for toll payment o Enforcement: Identify stolen vehicles or vehicle involved in commission of crime o Identify: Hazardous situations (e.g., swerving around object) and communicate downstream o Traffic management: Immediate notice of slowdowns and congested areas
  • 24. 24 Challenges: Unrelenting Gaze • ALPR deployed widely but not regulated • GPS data uploaded from smartphones • 24/7 video surveillance • Peering inside cars with infrared • M2M data sharing • Will surveillance state/economy prompt a consumer backlash?
  • 25. 25 Conclusions Transportation lawyers will have to become privacy law experts Highway authorities becoming more like utilities w/ associated consumer business issues Toll highway authorities have head start on managing customer relationships & protecting trip data Highway travel subject to intensive surveillance Patchwork of state laws may be reflective of limited public concerns about privacy to date That may change. . . .
  • 26. 26 Established Principles Customer account and trip data shielded from general disclosure; use allowed: When conducting tolling business In response to court order (e.g., warrant) When aggregated/made anonymous (e.g., studies) High data protection standards (e.g., PCI compliance) Vehicle data belongs to vehicle owner No transfer of data to 3d parties w/out consent
  • 27. 27 Lessons • Highway authorities are increasingly high-volume consumer businesses with concrete • Connected vehicle raises multiple privacy concerns not addressed by existing toll authority-customer framework • Managing the technologies that put vehicle travel under an unrelenting gaze pose pressing challenges in near future
  • 28. 28 What Lies Ahead: Connected Vehicles • Connected vehicle applications provide connectivity: o Among vehicles to enable crash prevention o Between vehicles and the infrastructure to enable safety, mobility and environmental benefits o Among vehicles, infrastructure, and wireless devices to provide continuous real-time connectivity to all system users

Editor's Notes

  1. 1
  2. Thank moderator. This happy and dated vision of driverless vehicles unwittingly illustrates the truth that connected/automated vehicles and their occupants will operate under the gaze of multiple eyes—highway authorities, law enforcement and commercial enterprises. While I don’t think privacy issues will derail the rollout of such vehicles, I do think that as transportation lawyers we will have to become much more familiar with privacy issues as a standard part of our practice. I am here to share what I know from my experience as a lawyer for the toll road authority serving Dallas-Fort Worth area. I’m humbled by what I don’t know.
  3. Toll highways are becoming more important in our national transportation system. As the industry shifts to all-electronic tolling using inexpensive transponders like those shown, toll highways become an even more viable alternative to gas-tax funded roads.
  4. In Texas we are fortunate to have an innovative state department of transportation. TxDOT tolls some of its own highways. It uses tolling to support public-private partnerships with developers in order to advance major projects by years if not decades. And TxDOT teams up with regional tolling authorities like NTTA in public-public partnerships to build new capacity. Almost all of the new capacity in the DFW region, which is doubling in size to about 12 million people in a half century, has come through such public-private and public-public partnerships. While other regions of the US aren’t facing similar growth pressures, pricing road capacity is something that is sure to spread. Pricing encourages efficient roadway use, it provides a sustainable O&M funding stream, and it is used to good effect around the globe.
  5. All-electronic tolling uses an RFID transponder read or a picture of a license plate to identify a vehicle. Each passing vehicle gets pinged for a transponder read and a photo is taken of every license plate.
  6. Nationwide, there are about 50 million vehicles equipped w/transponders already. Each of them are linked to a customer payment account with home address and payment information. Payment comes automatically at the time of travel. These are big consumer businesses. The transition from road builder to consumer business is challenging.
  7. Pay-by-plate is currently a more cumbersome billing collection process, complicated by poor name/address information at many DMVs and the lack of a national standard format for license plates. Tolling authorities work from license plates and with DMVs to get the home addresses of vehicle owners and send them bills. Toll authorities are using technology improvements to turn pay-by-plate users into good-paying customers with similar kinds of accounts.
  8. In addition to customer account information, toll authorities collect vast amounts of trip data from the vehicles passing by tolling points. NTTA has almost 700 million transactions annually and it is only the 10th largest tolling authority in the country. This is a massive data trove showing how, where and when folks in North Texas get around down to the last second.
  9. New tolling methods are emerging from private companies using the smartphone GPS and camera functions. These methods will complement and may someday replace traditional tolling. What this means is that private companies, in collaboration with public tolling entities, will be collecting the same kind of detailed locational data by customer vehicle.
  10. But there’s more going on out there on the roadways. Now that toll booths have been removed, toll violation enforcement has taken on new importance. One important tool that NTTA is deploying through our law enforcement partner is automated license plate readers. Fixed and mobile ALPR units read the license plates of every passing vehicle. This information is cross-checked against toll violator databases and violators can be intercepted. Note that law enforcement agencies—especially at the local level—are making heavy use of ALPR technology for other law enforcement purposes. Combine tolling databases with ALPR databases and you get a massive regional database of trip data.
  11. The next step may be peering inside the vehicle at the occupants. Highway authorities—but not NTTA I might add—are testing new infrared technology to help enforce HOV and HOT lane vehicle occupancy requirements. Getting a heat signature from a human as opposed to a dummy can result in detailed portraits of the vehicle occupants.
  12. Toll authorities are also scanning their roadway with video cameras. Every stretch of NTTA is covered by video 24/7 and that information supplements what we get from our tolling equipment. Video zooms allow us to identify specific vehicles. There is increasingly sophisticated software that allows us to mine video data for everything from early warnings of congestion, to accidents, to unusual traffic patterns. ALPR and video technology is merging.
  13. Let’s not forget that the vehicles themselves are generating mountains of data, captured by black box event data recorders and other onboard devices. Vehicles now are rolling out with 100 million or more lines of software code.
  14. Through all these current technologies we gather mountains of information about motorists, their vehicles, and their travel. We have customer account information, like a Target or Macy’s. We know what vehicles are on our system and when and we are even able to discern who may be in vehicles. The vehicles themselves are gathering data about their own behavior.
  15. High expectation. Customer account/trip data/no use in law enforcement. User agreement/privacy policy: No disclosure under ordered to do so or necessary for operations No sale to 3d parties—may do opt in Not a lot of concern about surveillance--yet In customer surveys we inquired about privacy issues. Not surprisingly, we’ve learned that customers have high expectations that their account information will be protected. Customers don’t want Target-like data breaches that compromise the credit card and other information they give us. They don’t want their trip data released willy-nilly either. They are resistant to automating enforcement by, for example, getting ticketed automatically if they drive too fast between tolling points. We’ve responded by telling our customers in customer agreements and privacy statements that we won’t share their data with third parties, including law enforcement, unless legally ordered to do so by subpoena or warrants. We also don’t sell or share our customer data to third parties for commercial use, although we are exploring
  16. There is a patchwork of state laws that address privacy issues. Some states such as California have specific laws directing how customer account information and trip data is to be kept confidential. Some have FOIA statutes providing that trip data is not subject to FOIA disclosure. Some mandate toll authorities to adopt privacy policies that protect customer information. About a quarter of states have laws concerning the use of “black box” data and even fewer regulate ALPR data collection, although there is ALPR legislation pending in almost 20 states. Customers are also protected by general data security/data breach notification laws applicable to consumers generally, but those laws do not address highway/vehicle privacy issues directly. Mix law enforcement = ratchets up public concern and legislative scrutiny. Necessitates hard conversations between highway authorities and law enforcement.
  17. Federal law has not filled in the gaps. The Drivers Privacy Protection Act protects the confidentiality of drivers license information but is of limited scope. The FTC Act (deceptive practices) has some general application. [Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.] There has been legislation introduced to protect the privacy of locational data, but it has not advanced. The biggest federal contribution has been the Supreme Court’s decisions in Jones and Riley, which recognize that sustained warrantless collection of travel pattern data implicates the Fourth Amendment.
  18. Ironically in light of Riley’s focus on cellphone searches, through the efforts of Apple and Google vehicles are turning into rolling smartphones. It seems a short step to say that if a warrant is required before searching a smartphone a warrant is also required before accessing vehicle trip data stored in the vehicle and in the smartphone integrated into the vehicle..
  19. Vehicles themselves are increasingly active as data generators. Services such as Waze are turning our vehicles into data probes. Those of us who use Waze are providing Google with lots of information about our travel, and not just from toll gantry to toll gantry, but in real time/real place on every street and highway. My sense is that most of us are comfortable opting in and sharing out data, recognizing that the more we and others share about our travel the better Waze will be in helping us get to where we want to go.
  20. Likewise, insurance companies are mining onboard data about our vehicle operation to customize insurance policies and rates. By monitoring and rewarding drivers whose vehicles exhibit good behavior, these programs seem to be another case where consumers seem willing to exchange their data for better prices and customized customer service. This gets to an important point: Giving highway users the opportunity to opt-in to programs that deliver deliver benefits but may compromise privacy is much preferable to compromising privacy without their knowledge or consent.
  21. Upping the level of surveillance, vehicles are being equipped with sensors and cameras to keep track of how drivers are performing—looking for signs of impairment. How will truck drivers feel about always being monitored? Will you and I be willing to have big brother watching us in real time in exchange for better insurance rates or lower car rental rates? This may be a closer question.
  22. The connected vehicle also has the potential for roadside business to tap into data flows and send targeted ads to the occupants of vehicles in the vicinity. Will consumers view these ads as digital intrusions or accept them as the price of, for example, leasing their vehicle at a lower rate? This might be a situation where customer opt-in is important. Highway authorities won’t want to breach customer privacy in this way w/out consent.
  23. Highway authorities and law enforcement may have interest in harvesting data from passing connected vehicles. The more we know about what is going on with the vehicles on our system—number, speed, occupancy and the like, the better with can adjust speed limits, pricing, deployment of service vehicles, etc. Can we as public agencies find the appropriate balance between effectiveness and intrusiveness? Opt-in to suite of services—knowing waiver of privacy rights.
  24. The challenge is the unrelenting gaze on highway use. Keys to manage = (1) Give opt-in wherever possible; (2) Be wary of sharing individualized data with third parties, even other public entities; and (3) whenever highway user privacy is at stake, make sure there is sufficient transportation benefits to make the legal/political risk worth running. Black box laws may become model: (1) data belongs in first instance to vehicle owner; (2) common sense exceptions—e.g., court order; and (3) vehicle owner can opt out. When buy car make these kind of choices. Riley will be extended to limit law enforcement overreach when it comes to vehicle tracking and data mining.
  25. As I’ve started learning, transportation lawyers are going to have to become privacy law experts. We have to recognize that transportation is evolving into a high-volume retail customer service business with all of the associated legal challenges that entails. While toll authorities have a good head start on these issues, neither our customer agreements nor state law address the intensive surveillance of our roadways. Of course, the limited patchwork of state law may indicate that the public isn’t too concerned about roadway privacy issues. If we and our clients fail in our job of finding the appropriate balance between utility and privacy, that may change.
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