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  • Writer's pictureHarris Lummis, Co-Founder & CTO

Our privacy policies and governing guidelines

Privacy is a growing concern for all of us. When cities are full of cameras, it’s reasonable to question how data is being used by governments or private partners.

We know the benefits that cameras can bring to assessing and addressing urban challenges, especially those that arise along our streets and curbs. At Automotus, we take privacy seriously. Our mission is to reduce congestion at the curb and on our streets while collecting as little personal data as possible, and ensuring the safe handling and destruction of that data. Our privacy-by-design approach to data collection addresses surveillance concerns while pushing the possibilities of computer vision software for good. When it comes to responsible data use, we have you covered.

Learn more below about the efforts Automotus is making to keep your personal information safe:

What is Automotus’ data collection process?

Automotus works directly with partners — mainly local departments of transportation — to mount cameras on light poles along street curbs. These cameras use computer vision software to process real-time parking and traffic data on our streets for the purpose of sample data collection or billing & enforcement of parking regulations.

What does Automotus do with the data it collects?

Unlike a recording or surveillance system, Automotus prioritizes collecting anonymized data—and then getting rid of it. In the majority of cases, the data collected is never stored or recorded; it’s processed in real-time and deleted almost instantly.

The examples below detail the two most common data collection processes at Automotus:

Sample data collection: When collecting anonymized sample data and metadata to assess parking and congestion trends, Automotus’ cameras blur all faces and license plates beyond recognition to ensure any personally identifiable information (PII) is protected. By processing video data in real-time, it is not necessary for Automotus to save any of this video or image data.

Billing & Enforcement: When providing payment & enforcement solutions, Automotus’ cameras will record images of a vehicle’s license plate when it enters and departs a parking spot along the curb. Those images are included in the enforcement invoice sent to the respective citizen or commercial company, and wiped as soon as the invoice is paid or the violation is resolved. All faces, as well as license plates belonging to surrounding vehicles, are still blurred in this process.

Can Automotus verify these privacy measures?

Automotus works with a third-party auditor to independently verify its privacy processes as it pertains to PII removal.

With whom does Automotus share its data and findings?

Automotus will never share PII or data with a third party unless it is necessary to assist an operation such as routing, enforcement or billing. In cases when Automotus needs to work with a city’s existing partner to support those cases, some PII may be transmitted; our partnership agreements place strict limitations on the manner in which the partner is allowed to use the data exchanged.

The data Automotus collects will never be shared with police departments.

Does Automotus comply with the Mobility Data Specification (MDS)?

While the MDS tool is specific to micromobility operators, Automotus is working with the Open Mobility Foundation—which governs MDS—as a member of its curb management steering committee, to develop similar specifications for curb-related applications.


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