Infoscience

Journal article

Will Privacy Concerns Associated with Future Transport Systems Restrict the Public's Freedom of Movement?

The creation of wide-area real-time monitoring systems for the road network has the potential to achieve a step change in both, our understanding of the evolution of congestion and forecasting/information to minimise its economic consequences. While such comprehensive monitoring systems provide unprecedented levels of information about the network as a whole, they also potentially provide substantial information about individual vehicles and individual travellers. There is therefore the potential that fears about the potential loss of personal information will result in members of the public travelling with less freedom, as they become worried about the future consequences for movements they make in the present. This paper examines the methodology and results of a mail survey conducted in the UK. This survey seeks to ascertain whether in the eyes of the public the potential benefits of future transport systems will outweigh the loss of personal information. The results of the survey support the fears that the advent of some future ITS applications will cause some people to travel with less freedom. It also highlights several key groups that are the most likely to reject future ITS, with contributing factors being elderly, poorly educated, female, from an ethnic minority group and/or having little experience of using the latest transport technologies.

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