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Privacy Policy Statement

Short Version:

In the research project SimRa, we collect data to get an overview of cycling near accidents, particularly in Berlin. We collect data about routes, acceleration data, user annotations for the routes, and some demographic data. The goal is to get an overview of the main bike routes but also whether there are clusters of near accidents in terms of time, place, and kind. We carefully assert to protect your privacy by anonymizing individual rides and the demographic data. This way we only see single rides and cannot create movement profiles for individuals.

 

What kind of data do we collect:

All data collected in the research project SimRa is for the purpose of getting an overview of near accidents of cyclists in Berlin. Together with cooperation partners, we collect data in other cities in the same way. Specifically, we collect the following data:

 

1.      Routes: We use the GPS module and the location services of your smartphone to record the trace of your ride. We store your current position every 10 seconds. 

2.      Acceleration values: We use the acceleration sensors of your smartphone. These sensors continuously emit values describing the current acceleration in all three dimensions. We record these values as a time series of vectors. 

3.      Gyroscope values: We use the gyroscope sensors of your smartphone. These sensors continuously emit values describing the current the rate of rotation in all three dimensions. We record these values as a time series of vectors.

4.      Annotated rides: We use the recorded acceleration and gyroscope values to identify probable near accidents. After a ride, we ask you to add missing points and to annotate all incidents. In the annotation dialog, we ask, e.g., about the type of the incident or whether the situation felt dangerous to you. There is also a text field where you can optionally add written comments. Please, do not enter any personally identifying data such as names or contact details as we will otherwise not be able to ensure your anonymity. 

5.      Demographic data: We do not expect that our user base is a representative subset of the overall cyclist population. To account for this in our analysis, we need to normalize our data in comparison to a representative group. For this reason, we collect some demographic data which we ask for in the respective submenu. Beyond your user input, we also store aggregated information about your rides, e.g., the total distance covered, the date of your first and latest ride, the total number of your rides, or the number of annotated incidents. All data which we record is also shown in the app. 

6.      Metadata: For further development of the SimRa app, we capture some metadata. This information is uploaded to our servers during regular data transmissions - e.g., while uploading rides or demographic data. As metadata we record the app version that you are using and the version of your dataset (if you update it). If necessary we may store connection data such as your IP address for short periods of time (less than a week) to prevent attacks on our servers. Connection data from real or perceived attackers may be stored permanently to, e.g., block them from accessing the servers. Whenever our app crashes you have the option to submit an error log to us. Usually this log does not contain any personally identifying data. We do not collect any other information on you; in particular, we do not store data such as device IDs or you IMEI which would enable us to identify you. 

7.      E-Mails: If you contact us by e-mail or via the feedback function, we will store and process such e-mails like any other e-mail. For this, we refer to the general data protection information of the Technische Universität Berlin.

 

All collected data will be used for research purposes. We plan to publish the data on routes and dangerous situations as open dataset. Following our design, this data should already be anonymized. If necessary we may apply additional anonymization techniques before publishing the data. Based on this data, for instance, traffic flow for cyclists can be optimized and dangerous spots identified. Further use, such as routing around danger hotspots or acoustic warnings while riding your bike, is possible. As the data collected in this research project will be shared as open data anyone may use it for any purpose.

 

 

How We Secure Your Privacy:

In addition to the usual best practices in IT security, we ensure your privacy through anonymization. This is particularly done through the following mechanisms:

1.      Individual pseudonymisation of the rides: Each ride is pseudonymised individually; hence we cannot correlate several rides of the same person. Technically, this means that each dataset from a ride (comprising GPS route, acceleration data, and annotation data) is first transmitted to us as a file. Our servers then create an identifier (similar to a file name) and a random access key and send these back to your app. The identifier and access key are stored in your smartphone so that you can always have access to all your trips. Since the knowledge on which set of rides belongs to which user is kept only on your smartphone we cannot create movement profiles for individual users. We may be able to detect that there is a ride from place A to place B at the same time every day but we cannot identify whether this is the same person. This is particularly true in high populated areas. If your rides always start at the same isolated house and you live alone, then it may be possible to create a movement profile if additional information is available. To prevent this, you can use the ride trimming feature (see 3. below).

2.      Pseudonymisation of demographic data: When you upload demographic data, we pseudonymize this in the same way as the individual ridesy. This means that linking your demographic data with your rides is not possible. Before being published as a public dataset, we will assert that the demographic information does not uniquely identify any of our users and, if necessary, further aggregate the data.     

3.      Ride trimming: Once you have recorded a ride you can crop it from both ends using a slider. This way, you are free to remove parts of your ride which might identify your home or other places. Data removed in this way will not be sent to our servers during upload and is permanently deleted. In densely populated cities, your trip should be sufficiently anonymized without trimming, especially since the information whether a ride was trimmed or not is not persisted. In more rural areas, this feature may help to anonymize you properly. Nevertheless, we would kindly ask you not to overuse this function as excessive will reduce the validity of the collected data.

 

 

 

Usage of External Application:

OpenStreetMap in Android app:

In our application we use the maps of OpenStreetMap, an OpenStreetMap Foundation service, St John's Innovation Center, Cowley Road, Cambridge, CB 4 0 WS, United Kingdom, hereinafter referred to as "OpenStreetMap". In our application, the service OpenStreetMap is involved which will store a cookie on your device. This is used to store, e.g., user settings so that OpenStreetMap can work properly.

Through this cookie, OpenStreetMap can recognize from which application your request has been sent and to which IP address the data should be transmitted. While the OpenStreetMap will access this cookie, we will not do this for any purpose in our application code. Legal basis is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f) GDPR. Our legitimate interest lies in the operation.

Apple Maps in iOS App:

In our application we use the maps of Apple Maps, an Apple inc service,1 Apple Park Way, Cupertino, California, U.S., hereinafter referred to as "Apple". In our application, the service Apple Maps is involved which will store a cookie on your device. This is used to store, e.g., user settings so that Apple Maps can work properly.

Through this cookie, Apple can recognize from which application your request has been sent and to which IP address the data should be transmitted. While the Apple will access this cookie, we will not do this for any purpose in our application code. Legal basis is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f) GDPR. Our legitimate interest lies in the operation.

 

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Ing. David Bermbach
Einsteinufer 17 Sekr.EN17
10587 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 314-0
E-Mail: simra.mcc@gmail.com

Information Rights:
The SimRa project is coordinated with the official data protection officer of Technische Universität Berlin. For questions about data protection in the SimRa project, please contact:
        Annette Hiller, Behördliche Datenschutzbeauftragte der Technischen Universität Berlin,
        Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
        Raum H 1038
       
        Tel.: +49 30 314 21784
        Fax: +49 30 314 28033
        E-Mail: info@datenschutz@tu-berlin.de
        
You also have the right to contact the governing authority, the data protection officer of the state of Berlin:
        Berliner Beauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit
        Friedrichstr. 219 / Besuchereingang über Puttkamerstr. 16-18, 10969 Berlin
        Tel.: +49 30 13889-0
        Fax: +49 30 2155050
        E-Mail: mailbox@datenschutz-berlin.de

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