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Google can tell who is complying with social distancing, and who isn't

(Image credit: Image Credit: Anthony Spadafora)

Google knows if you’ve been adhering to social distancing recommendations or not, and it’s now ready to share that information with public health and government officials, the company announced in a new report .

The tech firm has aggregated location data provided by users that opted into storing their location data, and is using that information to analyse the effectiveness of social distancing and quarantine measures.

“As global communities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing emphasis on public health strategies, like social distancing measures, to slow the rate of transmission," said Google.

"In Google Maps, we use aggregated, anonymised data showing how busy certain types of places are — helping identify when a local business tends to be the most crowded. We have heard from public health officials that this same type of aggregated, anonymized data could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat Covid-19," the firm explained.

The downloadable reports, which are publically available, cover more than 130 countries and allow users to search for region-specific data too.

The reports display movement information broken down into categories such as retail, grocery and pharmacy shopping. Users can also filter for data relating to public places such as parks and beaches, transport, workplaces and homes.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.