Open Mobility Foundation releases guidance for using Mobility Data Specification


To support MDS users in addressing privacy concerns, the POLIS member The Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) has formulated comprehensive guidance, launched at the 2021 POLIS Conference for applying MDS in the context of GDPR in the European Union.

The OMF supports and facilitates the development of open source technology employed by cities and mobility services operators. Mobility Data Specification (MDS) is a crucial part of this work. MDS is a digital tool that helps cities better manage transportation in the public right of way. MDS standardizes communication and data-sharing between local governments and private mobility providers, such as e-scooter and bike-share companies. 

European cities and regions are increasingly focusing on deploying innovative technology to achieve sustainability and digital objectives; this is a topic POLIS Traffic Efficiency working group has been addressing, keeping members informed of updates to regulations while showcasing best practices from across Europe. 

As data management becomes a focal point for the deployment and scaling of new mobility technologies, addressing privacy concerns is a critical challenge for both public and private stakeholders. Indeed, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union (EU) regulation to permit personal data to be safely gathered and analyzed for legitimate matters.  

In response, the OMF’s guide is a resource specifically designed for cities and companies that wish to stay compliant with GDPR while implementing and using MDS. “This is an important step in helping European cities and companies using MDS navigate privacy considerations under GDPR. We believe this guidance will help organizations develop policies and practices that enhance the privacy of those using shared mobility services” says Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Executive Director of the Open Mobility Foundation. 

The guide was launched at the 2021 POLIS Annual Conference and aims to act as a benchmark and source of inspiration for cities in Europe and worldwide.  

As Philippe Crist (Advisor for Innovation and Foresight, International Transport Forum (ITF) and member of the OMF Advisory Board) explains: ‘’More and more European cities are implementing the Mobility Data Specification to manage shared mobility services, and around the world, other cities are aligning with GDPR standards. This guide is a well-rounded resource that will help authorities ask the right questions and develop appropriate data collection policies.” 


The guide is now available through OMF’s website