Tiramisu Informed Consent and Privacy Policy


Tiramisu is part of a research study conducted by the RERC on Accessible Public Transportation (www.rercapt.org) at Carnegie Mellon University. The purpose of the research is to investigate the design and development of an accessible, social-computing software system that allows users of public transportation to engage in a dialog with the transit authority through sharing realtime ride information and reporting problems in the transit infrastructure.

Tiramisu will show you information about when buses are expected to arrive. This will have three forms: estimated arrival time, a historic time window (ex. 2 to 10 minute), and the regularly scheduled arrival time. When you enter a bus, identify the bus you have boarded, how full it is, and press the "Trace" button. This will start cause your phone to begin streaming GPS information to our server, the information we need to generate the arrival-time information.

When you exit the bus, press the "Stop Trace" button and this will stop the GPS trace. Also, if your phone traces for 60 minutes without a stop command, the GPS trace will automatically stop.

You will also have the ability to report observations related to the transit system (e.g., broken glass at a bus shelter). When applicable, we will forward this report to the local transit agency.

Participation in this research is limited to individuals age 18 and older.

Risks: The risks and discomfort associated with participation in this research are no greater than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during other online activities. No personal data will be collected from the phones. We will be keeping the GPS location data for your rides. It will be stored based on your phone ID number and not based on your phone number, name, or other personally identifiable information.

The real-time data provided by this software is an estimate and you accept the risk that this data may be incorrect or misleading. Running the GPS trace will cause your phone to use more battery power than if you had not used your phone.

Benefits & Costs: There may be no personal benefit from your participation in the research but the knowledge received may be of value to humanity. You may find your commute experience is improved because of the arrival information for the buses. There is no compensation or costs to you for participation in this research.

Confidentiality: By participating in this research, you understand and agree that Carnegie Mellon may be required to disclose your consent to this research, data and other personally identifiable information as required by law, regulation, subpoena or court order. Otherwise, your confidentiality will be maintained in the following manner:

By participating, you understand and agree that the data and information gathered during this research may be used by Carnegie Mellon and published and/or disclosed by Carnegie Mellon to others outside of Carnegie Mellon. However, your phone ID number and other direct personal identifiers will not be mentioned in any such publication or dissemination of the research data and/or results by Carnegie Mellon.

The researchers will take the following steps to protect participants' identities during this research: (1) All participant data will be stored based on phone ID number; (2) the researchers will record any data collected during the research by phone ID, not by your name or phone number; and (3) the GPS trace information will be stored on a server in a secure location that is accessible only by authorized researchers on this research team.

Right to Ask Questions & Contact Information: If you have any questions about this research, you should feel free to ask them by contacting the Principal Investigator now at Aaron Steinfeld, 412-268-6346 or astein+tiramisu@cs.cmu.edu. If you have questions later, desire additional information, or wish to withdraw your participation please contact the Principal Investigator by mail, phone or e-mail in accordance with the contact information listed above. This document can be viewed from within the app at a later time.

If you have questions pertaining to your rights as a research participant; or to report objections to this research, you should contact the Research Regulatory Compliance Office at Carnegie Mellon University. Email: irb-review@andrew.cmu.edu . Phone: 412-268-1901 or 412-268-5460.

The Carnegie Mellon University Institutional Review Board (IRB) has approved the use of human participants for this research.

Conflict of Interest: Some of the individuals conducting this research have a financial interest in Tiramisu and may potentially profit or benefit from the success of this application.

Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this research is voluntary. You may discontinue participation at any time during the research activity.

I am age 18 or older and I read and understand the information above. I want to participate in this research and use Tiramisu.