Thursday, Jul 09, 2020 | Last Update : 09:19 PM IST

107th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2305991272599667 Tamil Nadu122350741671700 Delhi104864781993213 Gujarat38419273131994 Uttar Pradesh3115620331845 Telangana2953617279324 Karnataka2887711878471 West Bengal2482316291827 Andhra Pradesh2381412154277 Rajasthan2221216877489 Haryana1936414505287 Madhya Pradesh1634112232634 Assam14033872724 Bihar139789792109 Odisha11201740767 Jammu and Kashmir92615567149 Punjab71404945183 Kerala6535370828 Chhatisgarh3526283514 Uttarakhand3305267246 Jharkhand3192217022 Goa203912078 Tripura177313241 Manipur14357930 Puducherry120061916 Himachal Pradesh110182510 Nagaland6733030 Chandigarh5234037 Arunachal Pradesh2871092 Mizoram2031430 Sikkim134710 Meghalaya113451
  Technology   In Other news  03 Apr 2020  Sharing location with Google? Now it will be displayed on site to aid governments in fight against coronavirus

Sharing location with Google? Now it will be displayed on site to aid governments in fight against coronavirus

AFP
Published : Apr 3, 2020, 4:50 pm IST
Updated : Apr 3, 2020, 4:50 pm IST

Reports on users’ movements in 131 countries will be published on a website and will chart movement trends by geography, a Google blog said.

Like the detection of traffic jams or traffic measurement on Google Maps, the new reports will use “aggregated, anonymised” data from users who have activated their location history. (Representative Image)
 Like the detection of traffic jams or traffic measurement on Google Maps, the new reports will use “aggregated, anonymised” data from users who have activated their location history. (Representative Image)

Paris: Google says it will publish users’ location data around the world from Friday to allow governments to gauge the effectiveness of social distancing measures, brought in to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Google’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.

For example, in France, visits to restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, museums or theme parks have plunged by 88 percent from their normal levels, the data showed.

Local shops initially saw a jump of 40 percent when confinement measures where announced, before suffering a drop of 72 percent.

Office use is possibly stronger than suspected meanwhile, as the decline in that area is a more modest 56 percent.

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

No “personally identifiable information,” such as an individual’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 “anonymised” smartphone data to better track the outbreak.

Even privacy-loving Germany is considering using a smartphone 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.

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

Tags: google, location tracking, google maps, coronavirus migration