Skip to comments.Google to publish user location data to help govts tackle virus
Posted on 04/03/2020 2:53:01 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
Paris (AFP) - 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 be 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.
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.
And in liberal democracies, others fear widespread data harvesting and intrusion could bring lasting harm to privacy and digital rights.
(Excerpt) Read more at france24.com ...
I cannot speak for all of companies, but this is not the cases for the companies that I worked for over the last 20 years. The ICs are designed with a simple connection between itself and the power button. The phone is not even in standby. What it is waiting for is a closed circuit which energizes the main IC, that in turn boots the phone. I worked for a Motorola and Qualcomm, and they didnt do it because it would kill their battery life. Qualcomm is the primary chipset for 100s of millions of phones around the world. Others like, Apple, make their own chipset.
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