Considering the current need of time, Google is gathering location data from the smartphones of its users. The data will be used to help healthcare officials understand how people’s movement trends have changed in response to the policies aimed at flattening the curve of COVID-19.
Google announced the release of its COVID-19 Mobility Reports in a blog post on Friday.
The blog said that the reports used data from the users who have their locations turned on. These reports would help the healthcare officials in analyzing the level to which people are adhering to the government’s orders.
“The reports use aggregated, anonymized data to chart movement trends over time by geography, across different high-level categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential“, said the blog.
The reports are accessible to every individual. It initially covers 131 countries and regions.
However, Google is working on adding more countries, regions and languages.
On selecting a geographical region, Google will generate a PDF file of the required data. As a PDF file is easy to download, Google preferred it over using web pages.
The blog said that high-class anonymization technology was used to generate the Mobility Reports.
Moreover, no personally identifiable information, which includes a person’s identity, contact or location was made available to the officials.
Google also plans on collaborating with epidemiologists to update the data set to forecast the curve of the pandemic.