Live Updates: COVID-19 Cases
  • World 19,597,099
    World
    Confirmed: 19,597,099
    Active: 6,284,822
    Recovered: 12,587,294
    Death: 724,983
  • USA 5,098,494
    USA
    Confirmed: 5,098,494
    Active: 2,316,325
    Recovered: 2,618,025
    Death: 164,144
  • Brazil 2,967,064
    Brazil
    Confirmed: 2,967,064
    Active: 798,968
    Recovered: 2,068,394
    Death: 99,702
  • India 2,108,705
    India
    Confirmed: 2,108,705
    Active: 622,724
    Recovered: 1,443,183
    Death: 42,798
  • Russia 882,347
    Russia
    Confirmed: 882,347
    Active: 177,286
    Recovered: 690,207
    Death: 14,854
  • South Africa 545,476
    South Africa
    Confirmed: 545,476
    Active: 140,808
    Recovered: 394,759
    Death: 9,909
  • Mexico 469,407
    Mexico
    Confirmed: 469,407
    Active: 104,710
    Recovered: 313,386
    Death: 51,311
  • Peru 463,875
    Peru
    Confirmed: 463,875
    Active: 128,894
    Recovered: 314,332
    Death: 20,649
  • Chile 368,825
    Chile
    Confirmed: 368,825
    Active: 16,699
    Recovered: 342,168
    Death: 9,958
  • Spain 361,442
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    Confirmed: 361,442
    Active: 332,939
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 28,503
  • Iran 324,692
    Iran
    Confirmed: 324,692
    Active: 24,306
    Recovered: 282,122
    Death: 18,264
  • UK 309,005
    UK
    Confirmed: 309,005
    Active: 262,494
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 46,511
  • Saudi Arabia 287,262
    Saudi Arabia
    Confirmed: 287,262
    Active: 33,692
    Recovered: 250,440
    Death: 3,130
  • Pakistan 283,487
    Pakistan
    Confirmed: 283,487
    Active: 17,815
    Recovered: 259,604
    Death: 6,068
  • Bangladesh 255,113
    Bangladesh
    Confirmed: 255,113
    Active: 105,144
    Recovered: 146,604
    Death: 3,365
  • Italy 249,756
    Italy
    Confirmed: 249,756
    Active: 12,924
    Recovered: 201,642
    Death: 35,190
  • Turkey 238,450
    Turkey
    Confirmed: 238,450
    Active: 11,063
    Recovered: 221,574
    Death: 5,813
  • Germany 216,346
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    Confirmed: 216,346
    Active: 9,692
    Recovered: 197,400
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  • France 197,921
    France
    Confirmed: 197,921
    Active: 84,761
    Recovered: 82,836
    Death: 30,324
  • Canada 118,985
    Canada
    Confirmed: 118,985
    Active: 6,580
    Recovered: 103,435
    Death: 8,970
  • China 84,596
    China
    Confirmed: 84,596
    Active: 839
    Recovered: 79,123
    Death: 4,634
  • Netherlands 57,987
    Netherlands
    Confirmed: 57,987
    Active: 51,830
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 6,157
  • Australia 20,698
    Australia
    Confirmed: 20,698
    Active: 9,100
    Recovered: 11,320
    Death: 278
  • S. Korea 14,562
    S. Korea
    Confirmed: 14,562
    Active: 629
    Recovered: 13,629
    Death: 304
  • New Zealand 1,569
    New Zealand
    Confirmed: 1,569
    Active: 23
    Recovered: 1,524
    Death: 22

Google to publish user location data to help governments tackle COVID-19

Author at TechGenyz Google
Google Stall
Google stall at an event in Germany | Credit: @rajeshwerbatchu7/Unsplash

Google will publish location data from its users around the world from Friday to allow governments to gauge the effectiveness of social distancing measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech giant said.

The reports on users’ movements in 131 countries will be made available on a special website and will “chart movement trends over time by geography,” according to a post on one of the company’s blogs.

Trends will display “a percentage point increase or decrease in visits” to locations like parks, shops, homes and places of work, not “the absolute number of visits,” said the post, signed by Jen Fitzpatrick, who leads Google Maps, and the company’s chief health officer Karen DeSalvo.

“We hope these reports will help support decisions about how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

“This information could help officials understand changes in essential trips that can shape recommendations on business hours or inform delivery service offerings.” Like the detection of traffic jams or the measurement of traffic on Google Maps, the new reports will use “aggregated, anonymised” data from users who have activated their location history.

No “personally identifiable information,” such as a person’s location, contacts or movements, will be made available, the post said.

The reports will also employ a statistical technique that adds “artificial noise” to raw data, making it harder for users to be identified.

From China to Singapore to Israel, governments have ordered electronic monitoring of their citizens’ movements in an effort to limit the spread of the virus, which has infected more than a million people and killed over 50,000 worldwide.

In Europe and the United States, technology firms have begun sharing “anonymised” smartphone data to better track the outbreak.

Even privacy-loving Germany is considering using a smartphone app to help manage the spread of the disease.

But activists say authoritarian regimes are using the coronavirus as a pretext to suppress independent speech and increase surveillance.

And in liberal democracies, others fear widespread data harvesting and intrusion could bring lasting harm to privacy and digital rights.

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