US Government, Tech Industry Discussing Ways To Use Smartphone Location Data To Combat Coronavirus

The US government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies about how they can use data gleaned from Americans’ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.

Public-health experts are interested in the possibility that private-sector companies could compile the data in anonymous form, which they could then use to map the spread of the infection, according to three people familiar with the effort.

Analysing trends in smartphone owners’ whereabouts could prove to be a powerful tool for health authorities looking to track coronavirus, which has infected more than 180,000 people globally.

But it’s also an approach that could leave some Americans uncomfortable, depending on how it’s implemented, given the sensitivity when it comes to details about their daily whereabouts.

www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120361582/coronavirus-us-tech-industry-may-track-location-of-selfisolating-people