The U.S. government was in talks with tech giants like Google and Facebook about how to use users’ location data to fight against coronavirus outbreak. The talks also include health experts tracking the nCoV-2019 and its transmission. A new task force of global tech executives proposed their ideas in the use of users’ location data at White House.
The location data collected from the users could help public health experts track and map the global spread of the infection. But, this kind of location tracking may leave people to uncomfortable.
However, such things would be strictly aimed at helping organizations to get an overview of patterns, decoupled from any individual user identity. According to the sources, this would not involve the generation of any kind of government database.
Meanwhile, the global tech companies came together on issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. They owe together to fight against the spread of fraud and fake news about the coronavirus.
Moreover, Facebook alone working on a project called disease-prevention maps. They are working with health researchers from several countries to provide anonymized and aggregated statistics about people’s movements. Also, Facebook made its maps popular with the help of its users, who have allowed the company to collect its location.
Generally, apps like Google maps use our location to help us discover something nearby. Sometimes, they sold it to firms that mine the data for business insights and opportunities. Using such data, developers are mapping and tracking global health conditions. One such example is the Johns Hopkins coronavirus map.
However, dozens of engineers and epidemiologists issued an open letter to tech giants to adopt “privacy-preserving” features. It might enable authorities to help doctors determine people who were in contact with a patient that later tested positive for coronavirus.
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