You don’t have to dig deep to find out what can go wrong with open data initiatives. Just look back to 2014, when the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission released hundreds of millions of records on taxi trips in the city, with data anonymized to protect identifiable details—at least in theory. In reality, the data was recorded in a format that allowed a software engineer to re-identify the license numbers of the taxis and drivers. A Gawker journalist then linked this to celebrities taking cab rides across the city months after the initial release, speculating on the routes they had taken and even how much they tipped.
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