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Last updated: 9/16/16

Boston's Safest Driver Public Privacy Policy

To provide drivers with feedback on their behaviors, data must be collected.  The information below explains in a transparent way what will be collected and what it could be used for during the contest.

The Boston’s Safest Driver Competition is an app-based competition run by the City of Boston which allows drivers to score their driving skills based upon five criteria: acceleration, braking, turning (“cornering”), speeding, and phone distraction. As part of the process to provide a driver their score, the app collects data and analyzes it. The City of Boston is interested in having safer drivers user our streets.

We welcome you to be our research partner on this journey of self-reflection. Moreover, there are a few other things obtained from the competition that could be helpful for improving transportation in and around Boston.



The City of Boston: Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Boston Transportation Department, Department of Innovation and Technology

Partners: Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), Arbella Insurance Foundation, and CFA Promotions


Information Collected Why it is Collected Who Sees This? At what Specificity?
Email Address If you win a prize, we will need to contact you. Your email address will not be shared with any other party, it is exclusively for prize distribution and communications relating to this competition only. Shared with City of Boston and our prize distribution partner for the competition. The technology partner, CMT, will use the email address to enable a user to see all their trips and scores upon changing their phone. The promotions partner may use it to contact users during the competition
Zip Code We will award prizes based on the zip code of drivers. Knowing the user’s zip code will help us with this task,  and also to aggregate all data for an area. Shared with City of Boston and prize distribution company.
Phone Sensor Data Used to provide you a score on the five metrics: braking, acceleration, turning, speeding, and phone distraction. The app uses the acceleration, gyroscope, and location sensors in your phone to collect raw data that measure these factors. Phone distraction is measured using sensor data and phone screen state. No information about what apps you are running is collected. The phone sensor data is stored securely by CMT and not shared with any other parties, including the City of Boston.
Location Data The app logs GPS coordinates for your trips and displays for you your route at the conclusion of each trip. This data is not transmitted to the City of Boston. CMT will map unsafe driving behaviors to their appropriate street segment in aggregate and remove personally identifiable information. Roads with a sufficient number of users that, in aggregate, are observed to have an excessive amount of unsafe driving behavior over the competition will be sent to the City of Boston in a wrap-up summary report, Such aggregated data may be used to improve City streets. CMT may provide aggregated trip data by day of the week in summary form to the City of Boston at the conclusion of the competition (e.g., there were 430 trips from 02131 to 02201 on Mondays). If there are fewer than 5 trips in a zip code on a given day, those trips will not be included in the report provided to the city. No data corresponding to individual drivers will be sent to the City of Boston. Location data tied to events are reported at an aggregated level. Data is anonymized by CMT and provided as a summary report at the end of the competition.
Badges Earned Through the competition, drivers will have the opportunity to earn badges for consistently positive behaviors on the road. The City of Boston will receive a report on the number of badges issued, but it will not be connected to a driver. Reported at a zip code level in a summary report provided to City of Boston.
Mailing Address Only if you are a prize winner. This information is not collected in the app. If you win a prize, then you will be contacted by email and asked to provide a mailing address where we can send your winnings. City of Boston and CFA,  the competition promotional partner.



The City values participants’ privacy and has partnered with Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) to ensure that data collected in this competition is anonymized within sixty (60) days after the competition ends and cannot be used for anything else. Driver scores and the data listed in the table above will be collected at the individual level by CMT but provided to the City in summarized reports at the zip code level. The email you supply will be used in conjunction with your score to identify weekly winners. The City receives email addresses for purposes of communication about this competition.  For the purpose of contacting selected winners for prize distribution, those emails will be shared with our partner CFA promotions for the sole purpose of this project. CMT has its own privacy policy that governs the individual level data it collects during the competition.  View the CMT privacy policy. 


The City of Boston will receive aggregated reports from our technology partner, Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), as noted in the table above. CMT has a limited license to use that data for the purposes of providing reports to the City and to improve its program, but cannot share that data with anyone else. The raw data is not provided to the City; only aggregated statistics from the reports will be available to the City.  Data in the custody of the City is subject to the Massachusetts Public Records law, M.G.L. c. 66, s. 10, and other applicable laws and regulations, and may be made available to members of the public under that law. Other partners, like Arbella Insurance Foundation, will only see aggregated  reports from the project and will never be supplied any personally identifiable information or raw data.


First off, the best use of this data is for self-reflection. If you drive in and around Boston, we want you to do so safely and this app provides a tool for you to reflect upon your own habits. To be clear, the City does not want individual driver data for the purposes of enforcement. However, there are a few pieces of data the City is interested in learning more from with your collaboration as a researcher:

  • Self Reflection: Largely, this is about you being able to reflect on your own driving habits. Massachusetts has a reputation for having a high number of crashes and regularly ranks last in lists of cities by major insurance companies in good driving. We aren’t sure that we live up to that reputation, and want to give residents a chance to reflect upon that stereotype. Aggregated and anonymized data will provide insight of an average driving score for each zip code.
  • Transportation Challenges: The City of Boston and surrounding areas could be improved with better data. Maybe the traffic signals need to be timed better to prevent rapid braking or acceleration on a stretch of road. Or perhaps better signage or roadway design to improve turning movements. Data aggregated over the duration of the competition showing some of these hotspots could be useful to City of Boston urban planners and engineers.
  • Future Public Safety Campaigns: It’s possible that anonymous and aggregated over the course of the competition could show us a specific problem with driving behavior (e.g., harsh braking) that would lead to a bigger public safety campaign in the future.


CMT will strip all data of personally identifiable information (i.e., email address) within 60 days after the competition ends. Data aggregated and anonymized at the zip code level and described above may be released on the City of Boston’s open data portal for analysis.


We welcome you to be our partner as a public researcher of road conditions through this competition. Alerts triggered in the app (e.g., hard braking) that occur on the same street segment repeatedly will be aggregated and may be shared publicly through the City of Boston’s open data portal for the purpose of exploration. Aggregated and anonymous data at the zip code level on average driver score may also be shared publicly.



Should you decide to delete your account, simply uninstall the App. If you would like CMT’s servers to remove your driving data, please contact with your information, and we will remove your data. Even after you remove the app, your information may remain viewable elsewhere, to the extent it has been shared with others, or was copied or stored by other users. If you change smartphones, you’ll be able to reinstall and continue using the app by signing in with the previously registered email address.

Still have questions? Contact:
1 City Hall Square
Room 721
Boston, MA 02201-2026
United States