Using mobile phone geolocation to track the spread of coronavirus is becoming more common in the United States. Sources in the Wall Street Journal reported that federal states and local governments receive location data from mobile ads. Anonymized information helps authorities understand where users are located, how well they comply with quarantine requirements, and how the virus has affected retail sales.
The authorities will create an array of data on the location of users from 500 cities in the United States. Information from the Mobility Data Network project will be coordinated by experts from Harvard, John Hopkins, Princeton and other institutions.
The Wall Street Journal notes that this information may be useful to authorities to discourage people from visiting public spaces or to warn them of danger if they do not comply with quarantine rules. At the same time, security experts are confident that the data can be used for other purposes. The desire to defend against COVID-19 can lead to unforeseen consequences if the archive is preserved even after a pandemic.
The number of people who died in the United States from the effects of coronavirus infection has reached 2 thousand people, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks such statistics. In total, 124 thousand cases of infection were detected in the USA.