Everyone knows the world is changing. Google is also contributing to the same which gives a clear instance of helping people and improving technology. Google tracking is one of the most advanced methods to collect datasets across the world.
Since the coronavirus crisis started a few months before, there is a new opportunity rose to track the victim and how to stop this pandemic from the public spread.
Every Tech company is contributing to finding the solution to track coronavirus and so Google is doing as saviour.
Today in this blog post you are going to know about the largest tech and their action which includes publishing of the COVID-19 community mobility reports based on GPS Google tracking.
This will help in tracing the precise granular location data from the maps and track the people from where they are and where they are going.
The data stresses on the location history from the maps and tracks commercial strategy to provide aggregated changes in population movements around the world.
With the spread of corona pandemic, there is a worldwide struggle for creating tools and data among various developers so that they can help in government responses towards stopping this spread.
For example, the European government is working with telco companies so that they can handover anonymized and aggregated location data to control the spread of COVID-19.
It seems that the Google’s data dump looks like it is waving off the public policy utility but also it is providing a focused public snapshot of mobility and their shifts by using the mobile under the global user base.
As per the policymakers’ utility, Google suggestion of making such reports will be very helpful to the government and the public health officials people. The policymakers should understand these changes and will undertake the recommendations in the business hours to inform the surface service offerings.
Similarly, it is important for the transportation hubs to stop these people persistent visits at different places and to promote social distancing.
People do not understand this fact of the pandemic. But they need to understand that social distancing is important and it also valid for the officials to protect the public health and essential needs of commodities.
Google is providing location data which is absolutely fuzzy. However, they are avoiding any privacy storm. This world-class technology is using the tech in its products in every way to support the world with all the required facilities.
Under these reports, differential privacy is maintained which also includes artificial noise to the data sets which enables high-quality results without providing the information of the individual. Google also says that all the insights created with the aggregation and different anonymized sets of data extracted from the users who have turned on the location history setting but by default, the location always remains off.
With the help of Google Maps, one can use the aggregated and the anonymized data which also shows how dense a particular area is. It also helps in identifying whether any local business is open and the crowd is gathering over there.
This also helps in getting knowledge about whether people are gathering in some place even after the lockdown. So that government can take various actions with the help of this report so this will not be going to be any violation in the privacy of users.
Not only government but definitely it will help the public health officials in making critical decision to combat COVID-19 in helping in finding the coronavirus busting cause.
The report was created based on per country or per state or per downloads which can be further categorised into regions and countries. This offers a proper observation on the mobility of the individuals or the community through Google tracking. This also offers a proper analysis for the mobility of the individual after the code 19 arrived.
Some facts by Google Tracking due to COVID-19 crisis
For example, according to the March 29 retail report, there is a 47% drop in retail and recreation activity versus the pre-CV period. In addition to it, there is also a 22% drop in grocery and pharmacy. The other drops include a 90% drop in visit to parks in beaches as per the Google data.
Similar reports also created for California where there is a considerable drop equal to 38% compared to regional baseline and decrease in retail and recreation activity of about 50% and 24% drop in grocery and pharmacy.
According to Google, all the aggregated and anonymized data will help in analysing the trends over time by geography which also includes a different level of categories or places retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. It can be displayed by considering duration where most latest information can be found in the short for short duration 48-72 hours.
The same report shows for Italy – 87% of drop-in activity at transit stations and a 63% drop in workplaces activities. There is an increase of almost a quarter of activity in residential locations.
As we can see in Spain, which is one of the top countries hit by COVID-19, the data for France suggested by the Google include 18% in residential location activities and 50% drop in activities at workplaces.
Privacy experts and civil liberties campaigners have provided their concerns about the impact of the pandemic. During this, policymakers are scrambling for data and tools to inform governments In response to cope with COVID-19.
Contacting areas are one of the most touted areas where apps are first being touted so that the best solution can we find out. These reports open up the possibilities of individual mobile devices which can we use as a tool to enforce lockdown. A similar type of case has happened in China.
Large scale collection of personal data can be used to do mass surveillance. This is actually succinct warning of a trio of academics from London’s imperial college.
They have compiled their privacy concerns regarding COVID-19 contact stressing apps and this privacy concern is converted into a set of 18 question app developer should be asking.
The head of the group, Yves- Alexandre-de-Montjoye, discussed Google’s release of mobile location data COVID-19 cause and he also gave general thumbs up to the steps taken to narrowing the privacy risk.
He also asks Google to provide more detailed information about the technical process so that external researchers can easily access the robustness of the claimed privacy protections. Further, he says that all these processes relate to coronavirus related data grabbing going on right now.
As we know that there are various people using data, what we need more and more details related to their mobility so that we can resolve the issue of individual mobility in such a critical case of COVID-19. However, there are various options on thresholding data on how do you apply differential privacy and how the assumptions will be converted into critical factors.
Plus he also added that Google is doing the best as it can and providing the details so that we can implement them with proper transparency and by maintaining differential privacy.
Advantage of Mobility Report
Google’s mobility data release might appear as an overlap in purpose with the commissions call for EU Telco metadata for COVID-19 tracking through Google tracking. There are likely to be key differences found from various data sources. To the above sentences, you also add that it is always a trade-off between the two situations.
It’s Telco data that can be fine-grained because of GPS Google tracking. This GPS gives a precise spatially and more data points per person per day so that data can be more representative.
It is not only for smartphone or not only for people having an altitude for everyone in the country or everyone in the world including non-smartphone.
In addition to offering up coronavirus mobility reports through Google tracking, Google specify is that this will be continued until the crisis will be there and will update all selected epidemiologists working on COVID-19. This also includes updates on existing aggregate, minimised data set, which can also be used to better understanding and forecasting the pandemic situations in the form of datasets.
Future Perspective of Google Tracking
This type of data is highly useful in future. It helps researchers to look into predicting epidemics and planning the urban and transit infrastructure. It also helps in understanding people’s mobility in response to conflict and natural disasters.