ANYMOS competence cluster: What do transport service providers do with personal data?

Traffic jams on a highway are displayed during route planning by an online map service, as are the arrival time at the destination and faster detours. Precise traffic planning is made possible above all by the evaluation of countless data in real time. But what actually happens to all this data and what else is it used for apart from traffic forecasts? And is such data encrypted at all or can conclusions be drawn about the individual mobility behavior of users of online services?
The Anonymization for Networked Mobility Systems (ANYMOS) competence cluster deals with these and other questions.
On Thursday, December 7, there will be a panel discussion on this topic from 7 p.m. at TRIANGEL Transfer/Kultur/Raum in Kaiserstraße 93 in Karlsruhe.

Panel discussion with activist Katja Diehl

The renowned mobility expert Katja Diehl, author of several publications on the subject of “Mobility in the data frenzy”, will then sit on the podium. The sustainable mobility activist will be flanked by Dr. Michael Friedewald, Head of the “Innovation and Digitalization” business unit at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI), ISII research associate Dr. Frederik Metzer and Gero Zuber, Head of Multimodality at the Karlsruhe Transport Association (KVV). The evening will be hosted by Uwe Gradwohl, head of the Wissen Aktuell editorial team at Südwestrundfunk (SWR).

The renowned mobility expert Katja Diehl, author of several publications on the subject of "Mobility in the data frenzy", will then sit on the podium. Photo: Amac Garbe
The renowned mobility expert Katja Diehl, author of several publications on the subject of “Mobility in the data frenzy”, will then sit on the podium. Photo: Amac Garbe

Volume of data will increase dramatically

“The big challenge is the amount of data. This will increase dramatically in the coming years,” says ANYMOS project manager Oliver Denninger from the Research Center for Information Technology (FZI). The long-term goal of the competence cluster is therefore to develop a technology with which the anonymization of data can be easily integrated into existing systems. This could eliminate uncertainties when sharing and using personal data and strengthen the importance of data protection in Germany.

“The methods for encryption are actually well known,” says Denninger. However, not all companies know what to look out for when evaluating personalized data. Denninger sees several reasons for the predicted increase in data volumes in the transportation sector. The automotive industry is developing technologies for connected and autonomous driving, local transport service providers are optimizing their services and the logistics sector is constantly looking for the most efficient transport routes possible.


Different interests of the companies

Another challenge for data protection, according to Denninger, is the different interests of companies. “There are companies that earn their money with advertising and therefore want to find out as much as possible about their customers,” says Denninger. This is why you never know exactly how personal data will be processed by large providers such as Google.

For local transport companies such as KVV, data analysis usually focuses on improving the service. In the automotive industry, the focus is almost exclusively on the further development of sensor systems. “When a camera takes pictures of people on the side of the road, nobody wants to know who they are,” Denninger emphasizes. Car manufacturers want to get to know their customers, but they can explicitly ask for their consent to use their data.

ANYMOS is funded by the federal government and the EU

The panel discussion at the start of ANYMOS is framed by two regulars’ tables on the topics of “Business models with mobility data” and “Law and data protection”. ANYMOS will run until 2025 and is funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In addition to the Fraunhofer ISI, the KVV and the FZI, the consortium partners from Karlsruhe are the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB) and INIT GmbH.