Google to Publish User Location Data to Help Govts Tackle Coronavirus

Google to Publish User Location Data to Help Govts Tackle Coronavirus

Google says it will publish users’ location data around the world from Friday to allow governments to gauge the effectiveness of social distancing measures, brought in to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

The reports on users’ movements in 131 countries will be made available on a special website and will “chart movement trends over time by geography”, according to a post on one of Google’s blogs.

Trends will display “a percentage point increase or decrease in visits” to locations like parks, shops, homes and places of work, not “the absolute number of visits,” said the post, signed by Jen Fitzpatrick, who leads Google Maps, and the company’s chief health officer Karen DeSalvo.

For example, in France, visits to restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, museums or theme parks have plunged by 88 percent from their normal levels, the data showed.

Local shops initially saw a jump of 40 percent when confinement measures where announced, before suffering a drop of 72 percent.

Office use is possibly stronger than suspected meanwhile, as the decline in that area is a more modest 56 percent.

“We hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Google execs said.

“This

information could help officials understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings.”

Like the detection of traffic jams or traffic measurement Google Maps, the new reports will use “aggregated, anonymised” data from users who have activated their location history.

No “personally identifiable information,” such as an individual’s location, contacts or movements, will be made available, the post said.

The reports will also employ a statistical technique that adds “artificial noise” to raw data, making it harder for users to be identified.

From China to Singapore to Israel, governments have ordered electronic monitoring of their citizens’ movements in an effort to limit the spread of the virus, which has infected more than a million people and killed over 50,000 worldwide.

In Europe and the United States, technology firms have begun sharing “anonymised” smartphone data to better track the outbreak.

Even privacy-loving Germany is considering using a smartphone app to help manage the spread of the disease.

But activists say authoritarian regimes are using the coronavirus as a pretext to suppress independent speech and increase surveillance.

In liberal democracies, others fear widespread data harvesting and intrusion could bring lasting harm to privacy and digital rights.


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/mynewsco/public_html/wp-content/themes/trendyblog-theme/includes/single/post-tags-categories.php on line 7

About author

You might also like

Business

Russia threatens to block YouTube and Instagram

Russia government has threatened to block access to YouTube and Instagram if the sites do not remove video and photographs of a senior government official. It said the platforms showed a senior government official

Technology

Knowing Car Versions- VE, CE, LE, XLE, XLS, SE, SR5, Many Others Before Buying One

Are you confused by day as related to modern day technologies and designs in the automobile industry per the very versions/choice of cars to buy? Let me indulge your intelligence

Technology

CES 2019: LG’s roll-up TV to be released to public

LG has revealed a consumer version of its roll-up TV set at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The Signature OLED TV R is built on a concept unveiled

Technology

Biometrics To Replace Atm’s Soon – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says biometrics will soon be used for transactions on the automated teller machine (ATM). Pin codes are currently being used. Dipo Fatokun, chairman, Nigeria

Technology

Audi set to blow your mind with Future Trucks

Audi’s plan for the future seems very promising with its semi-autonomous and self-driving vehicle concepts and development. The company intends to make the future of trucks a brilliant one with

Technology

China Launches Final Satellite To Complete Rival To GPS

China on Tuesday launched the final satellite in its homegrown geolocation system, completing a network designed to rival American GPS as it jostles for market share in the lucrative sector.

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply, We want to hear from You...