Google is fighting COVID-19 by monitoring location data in 131 countries. It’s a reminder of how much info Google has about us and how easily the pandemic could blow up privacy. (GOOG, GOOGL)
- Google is using location data to tell health organizations which global communities are staying at home, and which aren’t.
- It uses anonymized data taken from smartphones using Google’s apps and services.
- The new tool shows how important data can be in efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
- But it also raises some privacy concerns, especially given how how much other data Google has about users of its various services, from Maps to email.
- Verily, the healthtech company owned by Google parent Alphabet, that is providing a site to help people get screened for the coronavirus, is requiring people to sign in with a Google account.
- Google says the data Verily collects is not linked to other Google products. But Google has a history of changing policies about how it handles user data.
- Click here to get BI Prime’s weekly ‘Trending’ tech newsletter in your email inbox.
Google wants to help halt the spread of the coronavirus by harnessing the power of data.
The internet company recently announced that it is using location data gleaned from hundreds of millions of smartphones around the world to give health organizations a window into how communities in 131 different countries are moving.