Google Report Sheds Light On The Effectiveness Of Lockdowns In 131 Countries

by Darshit Singh 4 years ago Views 28318

Alphabet Inc's Google released its community mobility report showing the impact of lockdowns in 131 countries with charts from Feb 16 - Mar 29. The reports show traffic data of people's visits to retail and recreational venues, grocery stores, trains & bus stations, and offices from a huge chunk of data accumulated by tracking millions of user's locations.

Google Report Sheds Light On The Effectiveness Of
As soon as the Wuhan-based virus spread across the Chinese border, billions around the globe were directed by their governments to live under lockdown and practice social distancing while going out to prevent the coronavirus spreading.

Alphabet Inc's Google has now released a community mobility report showing the impact of lockdowns in 131 countries with charts from Feb 16 - Mar 29.

The reports show traffic data of people's visits to retail and recreational venues, grocery stores, trains & bus stations, and offices from a huge chunk of data accumulated by tracking millions of user's locations.

Google Community Mobility Report

It is said to be the largest public dataset available to health authorities to keep a tab on if citizens are abiding the lockdown.
 
The California-based company said that it was releasing the reports in the public domain in an attempt to clear privacy concerns about what it was providing to authorities, which is currently high due to rampant surveillance by the governments on their citizens.

India which is on a 21-day lockdown since March 25 saw a significant 77% plunge in visits to retail and recreational locations such as restaurants and movie theatres. While two of the worst-hit European countries, Italy and Spain, saw such visits drop by 94%.

India also saw a decline of 65% in grocery and pharmacy visits while workplaces and transit stations showed a drop of 47% and 71% respectively.




In the United States and Australia where there hasn't been a complete lockdown, saw a drop of over 50%.

Interestingly, South Korea which has successfully contained the coronavirus pandemic till now through rigorous testing and
contact tracing saw just a 19% decline in visits to retail and recreational sites.

The data used in Google's reports are from taken from users who have enabled the "Location History" feature on their devices. The tech giant says it is using "differential privacy" which adds artificial noise to datasets
to protect the user's personal info and still get the collective result.

“These reports have been developed to be helpful while adhering to our stringent privacy protocols and policies,” Dr. Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer for Google Health and Jen Fitzpatrick, senior vice president for Google Geo, wrote in a blog post.

Like Google, Facebook also has been sharing location data of its billions of users to different countries but hasn't publically out its findings.  

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