Released: April 17, 2020
Governments’ latest weapon against coronavirus: Your smartphone
Source: Craig Timberg, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Drew Harwell & Tony Romm, Washington Post (Paid Registration)
When California officials wanted to see how closely people were following social distancing guidelines last month, they tapped a powerful new data set — a map that Facebook provided to state authorities derived from the location coordinates of tens of millions of smartphones. The map showed with alarming clarity that large numbers of people were still gathering on beaches and in public parks.
Health experts say such new tactics, while testing traditional privacy boundaries, could play a central role in the battle against the coronavirus as nations try to reopen their economies. Key will be expanded disease surveillance with the help of emerging technologies to identify new infections before they create major hot spots.
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