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Data sharing and protection

Data sharing and the creation of new services

Data sharing

ITS, which are essentially information systems, use data produced from information which is:

  • collected from the outside environment (sensors),
  • provided by partner services under data sharing agreements which include commitments on the reliability, timing (real-time or not),  quality  and the conformity with data exchange formats of the data provided,
  • found on data-sharing platforms,
  • collected from social networks via the internet.

Creation of new services

Once processed, the data disseminated using ITS can be reused by other systems to complete, improve and expand their services, or to offer new services.  Some examples which spring to mind:

  • setting up observatories of transport supply and demand ,
  • multimodal information systems (involving several TOA and transport operators), or interoperable smart ticketing systems;
  • multimodal transport management with shared operating strategies across transport networks in a given urban area,
  • offering new services notably so-called 2.0 services to develop demand responsive services (demand responsive transport,  car pooling, connecting individuals and/or companies etc.).

Data ownership, retention and reuse

Data reuse and system interoperability:

  ITS interoperability refers to the possibility to exchange data which can be processed by the destination system, using procedures which are coordinated (the data must be readable, and arrive at the right time), collaborative (real-time exchanges with possible interaction), and possibly use shared solutions (interoperable smart ticketing systems - using the same media, same terminals and even the same teams).

Several conditions must be met in order for this data to be used by several systems or reused: These include technical, contractual and legal conditions.

Conditions for data reuse:

Technical conditions: The partners must agree on the data format and profiles, the quality of the data, the frequency with which the data is updated and the period of time for which the data is made available.  They may also wish to agree on the channels of communication used to ensure reliable exchanges both in normal and in fail safe mode.

The data exchange formats and profiles, as well as the communication channels may be imposed by the standards in force (see article on standards). Work currently under way on the standardisation of data exchanges has encouraged different stakeholders to come to an agreement on the terminology used (shared dictionary) and on data exchange standards in a similar vein to DATEX II in the road transport sector, TRANSMODEL, IFOPT, NEPTUNE for public transport, and UN-CEFACT for freight etc.

Contractual conditions: Technical requirements may be set out in the different contracts to ensure the proper use of data (rapid updating of data or, at the very least, timestamping and tracking for non-real-time processing).   These should also tackle data status and the cost of producing, making available and selling data.

Data status: The data can be considered to be public or private, reuseable or not, publishable or not. Beyond the contractual framework, certain conditions may have to be met in order to reuse and retain the data:  An obligation to publish in some cases, a duty to destroy or ensure anonymity in others with the aim of protecting personal privacy.

For the system operator or contracting authority it is important to ensure that data in the public domain can be used in whatever format it is provided. It is important to favour the use of standardised formats in open-source tools.

As far as data-sharing platforms are concerned, adapted access rights should be put into place for one-off, specific uses of some data.

The opinion of the CNIL (French Commission on IT and Freedoms) and CADA (Commission for Access to Administrative Documentation) should also be sought.