US: Adtech supplies CDC and local governments with geolocation data


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with local and state governments, are using location data collected by the mobile advertising industry from millions of cellphones in order to better understand how Americans are moving during the COVID-19 pandemic and how those movements affect the spread of the disease. The goal is to create a portal that federal, state, and local officials can use to study geolocation from up to 500 US cities and see which retail establishments, parks, and other public spaces continue to draw crowds as well as show general levels of compliance with lockdown orders. Privacy advocates are concerned that the system is essentially "covidwashing" privacy-invasive products and that safeguards should be put in place to ensure that the usage is limited to the current emergency.


Writer: Byron Tau
Publication: Wall Street Journal