As described in further detail below, Synaps uses its ALPR system to collect information about passing vehicles that would be relevant to advertisers. This information is then used to send more relevant advertisements to passing vehicles on electronic billboards further down the road. Synaps also uses this information to determine whether a car has previously been exposed to advertisements through its system. Synaps has also taken several steps to protect the privacy of drivers, which we describe in more detail below.
I. What Information Synaps Collects and Stores
Our ALPR system consists of one or more fixed cameras placed in conjunction with a digital billboard. The cameras take a series of images of passing vehicles, and a machine learning techniques are then used to extract the following information:
License plate numbers – The license plate number is initially captured, and then transformed using a standard cryptographic technique to create a “hashed” identifier for the car that does not store the actual license plate number and cannot easily be reversed to reveal the original license plate number. Only the hashed identifier is stored for future use.
Make and model of the car – The car’s make and model is identified using machine learning techniques on servers controlled by Synaps. In order to confirm effective identification, the system preserves a copy of the original images with the visible passenger portions of the car automatically omitted. This alteration of the images is done in order to preserve driver and passenger privacy, while still allowing Synaps to improve its system.
Location and time – Because the camera is fixed to a particular physical location, Synaps can discover the location and time of a car as it passes. For the period immediately following the collection of the information, the system stores and uses this information in order to time the effective delivery of advertising materials. After the materials are delivered the system generates an abstracted version of this information to be stored for future use. For the location information, in metropolitan areas where Synaps operates multiple cameras, only the car’s general metropolitan area is stored. For the time the image was taken, only the date of the image (and not the specific time of day) is stored for future use.
Traveling speed – The system estimates the traveling speed of vehicles in order to time the effective delivery of advertising materials. This may or may not include the traveling speed of a particular vehicle, depending on how many cars are on the road. The system does not store this information beyond its use for delivery of content, though it may periodically store this information for longer in order to check the system’s performance
The system may also collect other information unrelated to the collection of information on particular vehicles, such as system performance information or environmental information at its location.
II. Use and Disclosure of Vehicle Data
To help protect driver privacy, the data that is stored on the system is separated into two discrete data sets. Only one set of data includes the unique identifier derived from the license plate information, along with the make and model of the car, the location information as described above, and the date on which the ad(s) were shown. This set is used to confirm to Synaps and its business associates that ads were effectively delivered on the platform. A separate data set is used to develop market research for the Synaps system, which does not include the unique identifier derived from license plate date. This set instead aggregates information on makes and models of cars and locations, and combines this aggregate information with other generalized population and demographic information derived from other sources in order to improve market research. A primary goal in developing these two data sets is to ensure that particular marketing profiles are not developed based on particular vehicles, and the sets are designed so that it would be very difficult, if not impossible to recombine them.
Information is shared with the following entities:
The Synaps team and its contractors – Synaps uses this information in order to provide, develop, maintain, and improve its advertising services. The Synaps team also uses this information to develop more generalized market research and performance data that will be shared publicly. This may include data beyond that which is stored in the two data sets described above. Staff and independent contractors who are used to provide such assistance are subject to contractual obligations that do not allow them to share information in a way contrary to this policy.
Customers – customers of the Synaps platform are given access to limited amounts of data from the two data sets, in order for the customers to develop advertising campaigns and audit performance of the Synaps services. Customers are only shown selected information from these sets, and are bound to agreements that will note allow them to attempt to use the information to re-identify individual drivers and passengers.
Third-Party Service Providers – Like most technology companies, Synaps works with third-party service providers in order to operate, develop, and maintain its operations. Those services may also have access to the data described above, including data not stored in the two data sets described above, solely as is needed for them to provide such services.
Law Enforcement and Legal Compliance – Synaps may be required to share data it has in its possession when it believes disclosure is required to comply with a court order, subpoena, search warrant, or other legal process. We may also share ALPR data with law enforcement if we believe disclosure is or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of Synaps, our customers, or others. This may include data beyond that which is stored in the two data sets described above.
Business Transfers – If Synaps is acquired, goes into dissolution, or otherwise sells or transfers its assets to another company, Synaps may transfer any and all data it has in its possession as part of those transactions or events.
Data Analysis – Synaps reserves the right to use, transfer, and sell aggregated data or information derived from the data described above for any business purpose. This will not include data that can practicably be used to identify individual drivers, passengers, or vehicles.
III. Data Security
Synaps has taken steps to help secure the data collected and used under this policy. Information transmitted from the ALPR systems back to Synaps’ servers is done using a secure VPN connection to limit the possibility of interception. Data is stored on servers controlled by Synaps are [[data storage and protection standards to be included here]]. Of course, no computer system can be perfectly secure, and we therefore cannot guarantee that data will never be compromised.
Synaps reserves the right to revise this policy from time to time to reflect its current data handling practices. The date of the latest version of the policy will be posted at the top of this document.
V. Contact Us
If you have any further questions or concerns about this policy, please contact Synaps at