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In the 18 months or so since dockless bike-share arrived in the US, the service has spread to at least 88 American cities. (On the provider side, at least 10 companies have jumped into the business; Lime is one of the largest.) Some of those cities now have more than a year of data related to the programs, and they’ve started gleaning insights and catering to the increased number of cyclists on their streets.
Technology Review writer Elizabeth Woyke looks at ways how city planners in Seattle, WA and South Bend, IN use the immense stream of user-generated location data from dockless-bike-sharing programs to improve urban mobility — and how hackers could potentially access and abuse this (supposedly anonymous) information. “In theory, the fact that people can park dockless bikes outside their exact destinations could make it easier for someone who hacked into the data to decode the anonymous identities that companies assign their users,” Woyke writes.