5 years ago
Society is becoming increasingly conscientious about the internet world, and how usage can easily be traced back to individuals. What many are not aware of though, is that almost everything is or can be ran through databases to find the most obscure information imaginable.
Taxis are one of those things, that while individually may not be of much help, but when including, time, location, and frequency of usage and pickup locations can tell a story in themselves. This method has many talking as techs have been able to discover the most arbitrary information about the nations top celebrities. While the majority could care less, some would pay a pretty penny to discover who is going where.
Chris Whong, a data expert, used information published from the Taxi and Limousine Council, as well as the national Freedom of Information Law, to obtain over 50 GB of information for New York Taxis dating back to 2013. Rummaging through the mountains of number, dates, and times, is not for the faint of heart; but Whong with his tech savvy skills was able to work through the data and come up with some very interesting information.
Anthony Tockar, a Neustar intern, took it a step farther and began tracing celebrity news to give an insight to who was going where. Based on this information, he began correlating early morning pick ups from a strip joint in Hell's Kitchen. Tockar easily uncovered drop off addresses and then quickly was able to legally determine some of the top celebrities who were the clubs best customers. He was also able to determine who the best and worst tippers were as well as other information of interest about today's celebs.
The information legally available to those who tend to be more technically capable is endless, and while us regular Joes do not have much to worry about unless we also happen to be on the FBI's most wanted list; celebrities and their secret rendezvous are anything but safe from scrutiny. So just remember, in this advanced and connected day of age, no information is safe, especially if yellow cabs are a favorite way to travel.
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