United states: Heat map tracks smartphones across the US
In a widely circulated animated heat map, the geospatial visualisation company Tectonix GEO in partnership with the location technology company X-Mode used the secondary locations of anonymised mobile devices that were active on a single beach in in Ft Lauderdale, FL during spring break to show how the beach-goers fanned out across the US afterwards, potentially carrying infection with them. Although the visualisation was instructive in showing how contagion spreads, it was unclear whether any of the device owners had consented to this use of their data. X-Mode said the data it collected is "anonymised", in that it does not include device owners' names, and aggregated "at the advertising ID level" and associated with the device, not the owner. The project has released similar analyses of New York City, Seattle, and Rome in order to show how movement decreased after lockdowns were announced.
Writer: Tectonix GEO; Mikael Thalen
Publication: Twitter; Daily Dot