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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Google uses location data to show which places are complying with stay-at-home orders

    Google uses location data to show which places are complying with stay-at-home orders — and which aren’t

    New COVID-19 mobility reports show changes in traffic to stores, parks, transit stations, and more

    By Casey Newton@CaseyNewton
    Apr 3, 2020, 2:00am EDT


    Sampling of data from US report. Image: Google

    Google is using location data gathered from smartphones to help public health officials understand how people’s movements have changed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In a blog post early Friday morning, Google announced the release of its COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports.

    The reports use data from people who have opted in to storing their location history with Google to help illustrate the degree to which people are adhering to government instructions to shelter in place and, where possible, work from home.


    “As global communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like social distancing measures, to slow the rate of transmission,” the company said in a blog post.

    “In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymized data showing how busy certain types of places are — helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.”


    Anyone can view the reports, which cover 131 countries to start. In many locations, users can search for more regional data, examining reports for individual states, provinces, and counties. After the user selects a geographic region, Google will generate a PDF with the data it has collected.

    Google said that it chose PDFs over web pages because they could be more easily downloaded and shared with workers in the field.



    Each report contains information about movement patterns in six categories:

    • Retail and recreation, covering visits to restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, movie theaters, and similar locations.
    • Grocery and pharmacy, covering supermarkets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, and drug stores.
    • Parks, covering public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and other public spaces.
    • Transit stations, covering subway stops and bus and train stations.
    • Workplaces, covering offices.
    • Residences, covering people’s homes.


    A sample report viewed by The Verge for California, where a shelter in place order has been in effect since March 19th, showed steep declines to retail and recreation locations and transit stations, with a moderate uptick in time spent at home.


    Data covers the past 48 to 72 hours, Google said, and the percentage changes reflect the difference between movement this month and late January.

    The move comes as technology companies have been asked by government agencies and health officials to share more data to aid in the coronavirus response.

    On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported that mobile advertising companies were similarly sharing anonymized, aggregated data with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well state and local governments, to help officials understand the spread of the disease and coordinate their response.


    Facebook has made similar data available to academic researchers
    .




    Google executives told me its program is intended to aid public health officials who need to prioritize their response based on areas of greater need.

    The reports may help a county official understand that its parks remain overcrowded despite an order to shelter in place, for example — or that its parks are properly empty, but its transit stations remain too crowded. That would allow them to consider changing or amplifying messages to their communities about the need to stay away.


    At the same time, a high-level look at changing mobility patterns by itself is likely to be of limited value in managing the response to the pandemic.

    Countries that have had more success in fighting COVID-19 have done so by implementing aggressive testing and contact-tracing regimes, and also by making invasive use of location data.

    Taiwan, for example, is using location data to create “electronic fences” around quarantined citizens, monitoring their movements to ensure they remain at home.


    Google’s data does not include personally identifiable information or show the number of visits to any particular category. And it has limits: for example, it may not be able to account for people who spend time near a location as part of permitted outdoor exercise routines.


    The company considered requests from public health officials to make more data available for contact tracing — using an individual’s location to identify other people who may have been around them during the time they were infectious. But Google’s location data isn’t granular enough to determine whether someone came within 6 feet of them — the distance currently thought to bring someone within risk of transmission — and it contains enough errors to make contact tracing impractical.


    Google also considered using location history data to show how crowded hospitals and other medical facilities had become. But location data can’t distinguish between healthcare workers, patients, and visitors, making the value of sharing such information questionable.


    Google plans to update the data in the reports in the future, it said, but at the moment has not decided when.


    Separately, Google said it would collaborate with epidemiologists working on COVID-19 to update an existing dataset of aggregated, anonymized information to forecast the path of the pandemic.

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/3/21...vid-19-privacy
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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Leave your cell phone at home and their data will show you at home.

    Buy and old cheap cell phone with no GPS to take with you.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Google to publish user location data to help governments tackle virus

    While tracking social distancing trends, no ‘personally identifiable information,’ such as a person’s contacts or movements, will be made available, tech giant says

    By AFP Today, 9:48 am

    A woman wearing a mask checks her phone on April 02, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a "Stay-at-Home" order Wednesday in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images/AFP)

    PARIS — Google will publish location data from its users around the world from Friday to allow governments to gauge the effectiveness of social distancing measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech giant said.

    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 the company’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.


    “We hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” they 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 the measurement of traffic on Google Maps, the new reports will use “aggregated, anonymized” data from users who have activated their location history.

    A man wearing a protective face mask looks on his cell phone in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 2, 2020. (Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP)

    No “personally identifiable information,” such as a person’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 “anonymized” smart phone data to better track the outbreak.


    Even privacy-loving Germany is considering using a smart phone 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.


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

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/google...-tackle-virus/

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Track visa overstays and illegal aliens...load them up and deport them all.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Map: 90% of Americans under stay-at home-orders — track ...
    www.businessinsider.com › us-map-stay-at-home-orders-lockdowns-2...

    9 hours ago - This map shows which cities and states are under lockdown. ... In total, that brings about 90% of America's population, or about 297 million ...
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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