Positioning systems are a key enabling technology for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) because they allow the accurate tracking of vehicle movements. They can incidentally gather vast amounts of data on the movements of people. Accordingly, positioning information has a great potential for misuse. Information about the location of people could be abused by government authorities, law enforcement agencies, companies, and many others, including jealous lovers. It is essential that developers of ITS address this issue early otherwise there is a risk of serious backlash against ITS. This paper will discuss the potential for abuse of positioning information. It will survey other approaches to this problem, including an analysis of the approaches to privacy in the United States' Architecture program. It will then review how other sensitive technological information has been protected from misuse, for example, telephone tapping legislation. Finally, the paper will suggest a number of different areas that ITS researchers could address to minimize the risk of abuse, including: 1) guidelines for the design of positioning systems so as to safeguard location information; 2) the development of pricing mechanisms that reward people for allowing the use of information about their movements; 3) identification of appropriate legislative safeguards; and 4) the development of a privacy strategy that will guide future developments. In summary, this paper will discuss an area that is of great importance to the ultimate public acceptance of ITS. It then suggests a number of steps that can be taken to prevent concern about the abuse of positioning information becoming a major impediment. The steps to be discussed will include technical, legislative, and social measures.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Five volumes of papers and one volume of abstracts comprise the published set of conference materials.
  • Corporate Authors:


  • Authors:
    • DRANE, C
    • Scott, C A
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1995-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 2446

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00726042
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Volume 5
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 10 1996 12:00AM