The downloadable data on a website accessible to 131 countries will reveal the general trends in movements over time and by geographical area.

..- Google will publish statistics starting this Friday from the location data of its users around the world, to help public authorities assess the effectiveness of social distancing measures against COVID-19.

These data, downloadable on a website accessible to 131 countries, will reveal the “general trends in movements over time and by geographical area, in different categories of sites, such as leisure venues, food shops, pharmacies, parks, transport stations in common, work centers and residences ”according to an article in a blog by the American giant.

“We will show trends for several weeks” in the form of “an increase or decrease in the percentage of visits” specifies the article signed by the director of geographic products at Google (including Maps), Jen Fitzpatrick, and the chief medical officer of Google Health Karen DeSalvo.

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“We hope that these reports will help (public health officials) make decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Google.

“To protect people’s privacy, no personally identifiable information, such as a person’s location, contacts or movements, will be made available,” says the technology giant.

To prevent any attempt to identify a person in the dataset, the company has implemented a statistical technique called “differential confidentiality” that adds “noise” to the raw data while retaining real statistics.

Recently, different technological projects have been launched in the world to fight the epidemic, especially through the use of location data from telecommunications operators to forecast the spread of the virus and chart the path of sick people. Mobile applications have also been created to alert users if they have come across contaminated people.

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