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Google COVID-19 Track

turn our lack of privacy into a life saver
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

Since Google is already tracking everywhere we go they could use this data to stem the spread of COVID-19. When someone is infected their Google account is flagged and people they came into close contact with in the past are notified. This data could also be mined with data science/AI tools to get a bigger picture of outbreak clusters.

For example tracking people this way might help us find people who were asymptomatic but were carriers. It would be impractical to notify everyone someone could have infected but if all this info was fed into a data model it might give a better overview as to where resources would need to be devoted.

Obviously this would be a lot more useful if could test and find out how long someone had been carrying the virus because then you could highlight their locations for just that time span.

I'm not sure if the location data is actually precise enough to do this and there is obviously a ton of privacy concerns. But if things get worse it's worth a shot. A lot of the older people are going to be the ones dying and I hate to see that.

lepton, Mar 05 2020

"Influenza" was already up https://www.contagi...tes-hit-record-high
2009 pandemic? [4and20, Mar 06 2020]

U.S. government, tech industry discussing ways to use smartphone location data to combat coronavirus https://www.washing...n-data-coronavirus/
[jutta, Mar 18 2020]

Google/Apple collaboration on this https://www.bbc.com...technology-52246319
Kudos to [lepton] for calling it [pertinax, Apr 11 2020]


       In principle this seems feasible, but if this whole thing is a backdoor to global acceptance of restricting freedom of movement and assembly, monitoring of everyone's relationships by a global bureaucracy, and mandating medical treatments for everyone, then my [+] will become a very smelly fishbone.
sninctown, Mar 05 2020

       My big brother is high up in the U.S. Military and he said it's kind of the Jeffersonian trade-off between freedom and security. If we want to catch the bad guys we have to let the government listen in on our calls. I don't admire China's lack of freedom but I have a feeling they are going to do better containing the outbreak in the long run because they can track people and control them. I am hoping the West can come to a happy medium, if there could be more tracking while still maintaining a lot of privacy protections.
lepton, Mar 05 2020

       This might be redundant - just keep an eye on those people to whom existing algorithms are pushing advertisements for surgical masks and cough linctus.
pertinax, Mar 05 2020

       ... and coffins.
8th of 7, Mar 05 2020

       Ya know, I manage to survive day to day somehow, although I'm certaintly not the most intelligent or hardest working bear in the woods, but it's hard not to notice some (deliberate?) misrepresentations of Covid-19 data trends.   

       Although China has changed its diagnostic assignation for Covid-19 exposure several times, some undoubtedly limited data sources make it seem as if the number of critical cases which are ongoing or impending may end up driving the fatality rate to something like 9%, not 2%. Am already seeing tardy mea culpas calling the rate 3.4%, not 2%...
4and20, Mar 05 2020

       S'OK, it would go ultrasonic, altho that might upset dogs, which is bad.
8th of 7, Mar 05 2020

       We might be looking at all this the wrong way.   

       Let's contemplate [4and20]'s worst case; 9% fatality of those infected, and the whole world infected.   

       So 9% of the world's human population dies, but overwhelmingly the oldest 9%. That might include me, being into middle age and not particularly fit.   

       That still means the vast majority of the working-age population, and their children, are spared. Civilisation goes on. Not only that, but in many respects it gets better. There's an inter- generational wealth transfer leading to a sharp reduction in household debt. The liabilities of government pension schemes and public health systems are vastly reduced. If economic contact is reduced between China and the rest of of the world, this could trigger a modest revival in manufacturing throughout not-China and, more importantly, it could also curtail Chinese efforts to export totalitarianism.   

       There are economic hits to the aged care industry and to the airline industry, the latter because of fewer old fools frantically oxidising jet fuel in pursuit of their bucket lists. However, this frees up resources for building HVDC cables and flood defences.   

       So I'm inclined to say, bring it on. If we've all got to die of something (pace [MB]), I can think of many worse things it could be. So please leave my privacy alone, and I'll accept this risk, thank you very much.
pertinax, Mar 06 2020

       That post was so heartless I thought [8th] wrote it. Also you vastly underestimate the contributions of people over 60. But I'm all with you on the privacy thing.
Voice, Mar 06 2020

       The issue here in America is privacy is already a foregone conclusion. The police are already using Google location data to pinpoint bystanders who may have been witnesses to shootings.
lepton, Mar 06 2020

       Only for the witless numpties who have location data and telemetry enabled, and frankly they deserve everything they get. It's comparatively easy to make a cellphone very hard to track; with a little extra effort it can be made genuinely impossible to track, even by the service provider (although you do end up needing two phones).   

       // That post was so heartless I thought [8th] wrote it. //   

       He's coming along very nicely, thankyou. Soon every last vestige of human feeling will have been removed.
8th of 7, Mar 06 2020

       Not having a mobile phone makes it quite hard to track.
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2020


       Only if you're not at peace with your own mortality.
pertinax, Mar 07 2020

       //human feeling// Humanity. The robots still have to sense to be optimal.
wjt, Mar 07 2020

       I think this was already done in Taiwan or possibly South Korea and was found to be very effective.
xenzag, Mar 18 2020

       //and coffins//   

       Funnily enough, some algorithm last week saw fit to target me with an advertisement for pre-paid funeral schemes.   

       It's been nice knowing you all. :-)
pertinax, Mar 26 2020

       Why is anyone ever concerned about paying for their own funeral ? There is no funeral. The Universe has ended. There is nothing.
8th of 7, Mar 26 2020

       ... and "Pertinax ages" is exasperating.
pertinax, Mar 26 2020

       You're exasperating at any age, so that's correct.
8th of 7, Mar 26 2020

       Not even the teeniest, weeniest bit impatient ? We can help you ...   

       // For comfort & peace of mind of those around them. //   

       But those people will no longer exist. Nothing will exist.   

       "Extreme solipsism is logically irrefutable" ("I am the only real object; everything else is an illusion"). The greatest philosophers have wrangled with that one and failed.   

       Do you need us to teach you Phenomenology ?   


       "Chairborne Hero, return to the bomb bay ..."   

8th of 7, Mar 26 2020

       Thankyou, we will. Just be careful that we don't decide to stop believing in you; that would be bad ...   

       Are you back in the bomb bay yet ?
8th of 7, Mar 26 2020

       Bah. Now we're going to have to think of you in a different way ...
8th of 7, Mar 26 2020

       We had a famous Israeli scientist come up with a way to keep the information private with no way to steal it (basically by deviding it up into two parts that need each other to be consolidated, in a way that can decide the level of information, limiting low-auhorized access to retrieve only after-the-fact short-term information, answering questions like: is this info from that person, or was this place visited by so and so but not giving a whole record.   

       Getting a list would need higher authorization and authorization cannot be achieved without knowledgeable cooperation by a changing group of trusted administrators.   

       This system also prevents anyone from being pre-authorized or to access information in the long term.   

       The Israeli government heard it around 2011, but after hearing some experts, decided to allow a company which used standard security to do bio-identification, which is now the used in our government system and at many buildings in our country.
pashute, May 12 2020

       Way to drive another one out, 8th. Can you refrain from doing that for awhile?
RayfordSteele, May 12 2020


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