HERE Probe Data and privacy
HERE is fully committed to the strictest preservation of privacy in all of its products. HERE Probe Data takes care that no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is ever provided. A dedicated process is required to remove PII from all of the vehicles that make up the HERE fleet. In addition HERE employs further mechanisms to ensure that PII cannot be derived from probe data.
How HERE Probe Data is anonymized
To ensure that PII is not contained in datasets created by the HERE Probe Data service, several anonymization techniques are used. Some of them affect the potential uses of the data, so it is important to understand these techniques.
Two of the techniques used are origin and destination obfuscation and trace slicing. HERE removes the start and end of vehicle traces, with a variable (and undisclosed) duration on each end. This is important because the exact locations of trips may be easy to associate with specific people, such as a single-family dwelling. HERE also cuts longer traces into segments with random durations that include a gap which prevents reassembling the traces. This is important for preventing disclosure of PII. Both origin and destination obfuscation and trace slicing are implemented using the HERE Privacy Tool, which is available under a separate license.
Another important technique is removing data in sparsely populated areas. There is risk in exposing an individual’s movements if they are the only inhabitant of an area, no matter how infrequently they travel.
HERE may change or add to these techniques over time, without notice, in order to comply with its privacy commitments. They are not optional and cannot be disabled. HERE cannot disclose further details about them. As a consequence of these privacy standards, origin and destination analysis using HERE Probe Data with high geographical accuracy requires additional data science and information in addition to HERE Probe Data, and that information may include supplementary data regarding where each vehicle trip starts and ends, with the desired precision.