US tech giant Facebook is expanding its program that provides researchers with access to data on the location and movement of users to determine the nature of the spread of coronavirus and the effectiveness of preventive measures, the company said in a press release
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 07th April, 2020) US tech giant Facebook is expanding its program that provides researchers with access to data on the location and movement of users to determine the nature of the spread of coronavirus and the effectiveness of preventive measures, the company said in a press release.
"As part of Facebook's Data for Good program, we offer maps on population movement that researchers and nonprofits are already using to understand the coronavirus crisis, using aggregated data to protect people's privacy. We heard from them how valuable this information can be in responding to COVID-19, and today we're announcing new tools to support their work," the company said.
According to the statement, these are three new types of Disease Prevention Maps to facilitate disease forecasting and protective measures.
"Our Disease Prevention Maps are aggregated sets of information that health researchers can use to better understand how population dynamics influence the spread of disease," the press release read.
The so-called co-location maps have been designed to reveal the probability of contacts between people from different areas to illuminate where COVID-19 cases may appear next. Another map, dubbed movement range trends, will show whether people are staying near their homes or visiting different parts of a city. The so-called social connectedness index will show "friendships across states and countries, which can help epidemiologists forecast the likelihood of disease spread, as well as where areas hardest hit by COVID-19 might seek support."
According to the press release, while Disease Prevention Maps aggregate information from Facebook, the company is taking additional measures to obscure people's identities and reduce the risk of re-identification.