Hashing: How We Preserve Your Privacy?

In today’s technologically advanced world information is collected and analyzed from everywhere. For example, devices like our phones come with different sensors, processors, and other types of communication hardware that track a host of things. Although data collection and analysis can be highly beneficial (e.g., understanding consumer demand, streamlining business practices, improving communication technologies, etc.), they can present legitimate concerns regarding security and privacy. 

Since Rhythm Engineering is a company that offers solutions ranging from vehicle detection and signal optimization to data analytics, collecting travel-time information is an indispensable part of what we do. This, however, does not necessarily mean there is any violation of privacy.  

Travel-time data is one of the best indicators of the road network’s operational efficiency. Rhythm’s flagship product for measuring, analyzing, and delivering real-time travel data is called In|Time

How Does In|Time Work?

Any device that has Wi-Fi connectivity or a Bluetooth function has its own MAC (Media Access Control) address. In|Time sniffs for this MAC address and captures it. Once that is done, the MAC is hashed

What is Hashing?

Hashing is usually used by computer specialists in cryptography, compression, checksum generation, and data indexing. In the process of hashing, a mathematical function generates a value, providing us with security during the process of message transmission. The function is non-invertible and, when hashed, the value is converted into a different one, without the option of engineered reversion. What this means is that hashing helps guarantee your anonymity by encrypting your data.  

What Does In|Time Do When Hashing Your MAC? 

When In|Time hashes your MAC address, it first conceals the original information and then masks it with a new, unique ID. After the new ID, or “fingerprint” is created, it is time-stamped on a desired number of points on a corridor.  

In|Time sends the ID to the In|Time Data Controller and the fingerprint is then tracked. The difference between the timestamps yields the actual travel-time. 

In other words, our product retains neither MAC addresses nor does it store any other information. On the contrary, hashing motorists’ MACs contributes to their integrity and anonymity.  

We at Rhythm Engineering value motorists’ privacy and aim to help preserve your rights.