The fleet of yellow taxicabs ever-present on New York City streets are as quintessentially New York as "I Love NY" T-shirts and Statue of Liberty paperweights. Everyone who lives in New York - from regular folks to investment bankers to A-list celebrities - has almost certainly taken a ride at least once. The cabs are an institution, and as such, they're subject to a lot of rules, regulations and surveillance.
For instance, did you know that every single taxi ride is completely cataloged by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission? That includes the date, time, GPS location, fares and tips. Because that information is public, it's subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.
One data analyst wanted to track a year's worth of cab activity and display it as a cool time-lapse map. You can check out his work here - it's fascinating. He had no idea, however, that his work would open up celebrities' privacy to the whole Internet to peruse.
Using the public information he requested and posted online, you can figure out exactly when famous people rode cabs, where they were going, how much they paid and how much they tipped. The gossip site Gawker reported that movie stars like Bradley Cooper and Jessica Alba took cab rides and possibly didn't tip the drivers.