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Location Data to Gauge Lockdowns Tests Europe's Love of Privacy


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A police car sits at the bottom of Rome's Spanish Steps.

Austrian and Italian officials are using location data transmitted by mobile phones to confirm the effectiveness of their coronavirus lockdown policies.

Credit: Geraldine Hope Ghelli/Bloomberg

Officials in Austria and Italy are using location data transmitted by mobile phones to determine the effectiveness of their coronavirus lockdown policies.

Telekom Austria AG is using tracking technology originally developed to analyze travel patterns, to provide "anonymized data" to relevant authorities.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Group Plc is providing Italian officials with anonymized customer data to track and analyze population movements in the Lombardi region of the country.

European countries have some of the world's strictest rules regarding the use and sharing of mobile phone location data, and European companies must seek explicit consent from users in most cases before processing any personal data; the EU also mandates high standards for data anonymization.

From Bloomberg
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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