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Mobile-location data and offline movement patterns can help governments combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The Washington Post has reported that the US government is in active talks with tech companies like Google and Facebook along with numerous health experts to find out how they can leverage mobile-location data to combat the novel coronavirus. The government also proposes to use the data to find whether people are maintaining a safe distance from each other to “stem the outbreak.”

Using this “aggregated, anonymized” data can help government track areas where known carriers had been and alerting those communities. It can further help map the spread of the infection and predict the next possible area where outbreak might occur.

Israel was the first country to propose this idea. The article also states that any misuse, leak or abuse of data might lead to a public uproar.  

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[3 minute read]

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