WiFi Data Requests
University faculty told ITS that WiFi location data would be of value to learning analytics, mobility, and social research.
As demand for location data in particular has grown, so to have privacy concerns. This has caused the University Privacy Officer to publish a ITS WiFi Location Data Privacy Statement, as well as developing training for staff with access to the data.
Today, ITS offers faculty, students, and staff access to their own personal WiFi data, as generated by the event-driven Radius infrastructure. Individuals can download their own data and share it if they choose. This individual-sharing infrastructure was requested by MIDAS-awardee Professor Rada Mihalcea, and is deemed acceptable under the ITS WiFi Location Data Privacy Statement.
Professors Pascal Van Hentenryck and Huei Peng are both interested in understanding the patterns of wide-scale movement of individuals across campus in hopes of re-architecting the university’s transportation infrastructure.
Reinventing Urban Transportation and Mobility (RITMO) project researchers are actively collaborating with the development and refinement of the PrivaScope infrastructure to achieve their goals of identifying mobility patterns of arrivals and departures on Central, North, and South campus.
Professor Jason Owen-Smith has conducted past research on the impact of close physical proximity on research collaborations. With use of PrivaScope this research can be taken further to understand the potential impact of university scientists incidental path intersections (collisions) on obtaining cross-disciplinary research grants.
PrivaScope infrastructure, its timeline data collection, and its ability to protect privacy make it an ideal tool to gain insight on how campus services and resources are used. For example, PrivaScope data might assist with the placement of campus food service locations, or to understand the utilization of campus buildings and rooms.
If the need arises to present this data in a form that could be integrated with other universities’ data in accordance with the Unizin effort, we will examine this request.