US Government exploring use of location data to combat coronavirus
What you need to know
- US government officials are exploring how to use location data to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
- It is reported that they have spoken with both Facebook and Google.
- It has been theorized that location data from smartphones of US citizens could help track and map the spread of infection.
US government officials are reportedly holding talks with tech companies including Facebook and Google over the prospect of using location data from phones to track and map the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported by The Washington Post
The report claims that location data from smartphones could be used by public health experts to possibly track and map the spread of infection of the virus. According to TechCrunch:
The US government has previously met with Apple, Google Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter to discuss a coordinated response to the pandemic.
Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented peacetime state of affairs in our modern era, the prospect of mass surveillance by taking location data of millions of Americans would probably make a lot of people uncomfortable. It seems difficult to imagine how the government could do this without infringing on the privacy of its population.
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Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9