Apple Maps Data ScreenshotSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple is making Maps mobility trends reports available to authorities.
  • It's hoped the data will help authorities make strategic plans.
  • The data covers 63 countries and regions.

Apple has made new data available to health authorities to try and help them make plans in the battle against coronavirus. The Apple Maps mobility trends reports could be used to help make new policies based on the movement of people.

The aim is to give authorities as much data as possible to allow them to find new ways to prevent the rampant spread of the virus.

Apple today released a mobility data trends tool from Apple Maps to support the impactful work happening around the globe to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This mobility data may provide helpful insights to local governments and health authorities and may also be used as a foundation for new public policies by showing the change in volume of people driving, walking or taking public transit in their communities.

Those concerned about privacy should note that Apple "has built privacy into the core of Maps from the beginning" with all data is "associated with random, rotating identifiers". The data covers 63 countries and regions around the globe, ensuring authorities everywhere will now have access to additional data.

This comes after Apple and Google announced a joint program to use Bluetooth for contact tracing, ensuring people know when they have come into contact with someone carrying coronavirus. You can find more information about Apple's new data-sharing initiative in the company's Newsroom post.

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