On Taxis and Rainbows: Anonymising is not easy

I’ve written a series of blog posts for the Rathenau Institute on ethical issues in data research. In this article I show that proper anonymisation of data is no easy task. This article is a translation of the Dutch original, and is available under CC-BY

Introduction

In 2013 Chris Whong discovered that the data of all taxi rides in New York City was available based on the FOIL (the Freedom of Information Law). After filling out some forms, providing a large USB flash drive and waiting a few days, he received his flash drive with nearly 20 gigabytes of data. Continue reading