Smartphone Data Collection for Social Distancing

Governments globally are enforcing new legislation to restrict the movements of citizens. This included social distancing measures and self-isolation tactics, with millions globally being forced to remain home. Individual governments are implementing the “Coronavirus Surveillance System”, which is reviewing the GPS Smartphone Data of consumers across the United States of America. This data allows government officials and medical experts to determine which locations nation-wide are practising social distancing. Those not following the temporary legislation will find themselves potentially being fined or jailed if pandemic conditions become worse.

The American Government has employed Unacast, a data collection analytics firm. They’ve provided medical experts and government officials with the “Social Distancing Scoreboard”, which is grading city-to-city on their implementation of this legislation. It’ll enable those reviewing the SDS to learn changing behaviour patterns with specific populations. Some believe that not implementing social distancing measures could be considered a criminal change. Multiple individuals through American have been arrested to spreading germs while engaging with society.

Representatives with the United States Government expressed that phone collection data isn’t being used to enforce criminal charges. It’s merely a tactic for government researchers and officials, with the assistance of Medical Experts, to ensure the delayed spread of Covid-19. Considering that privacy is a prominent political topic for Americans, it’s not surprising that some are against this tracking legislation.

Canada Isn’t Following America’s Lead

When it applies to America’s northern brothers, Canada confirmed through their federal government that cellphone data wouldn’t be collected during Covid-19. The Prime Minister expressed that this could change depending on the rate of infection across Canada, with there being no formal legislation enacted. The Canadian Federal Government has allowed for internet providers like Bell and Rogers to limit consumers bandwidth. This has seen national disapproval, with these operators often disobeying the federal requirements. Covid-19 allows these illegal telecommunication operators to continue breaking the law.

Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government aren’t concerned with white-collar criminals. All efforts are being placed towards the safety of Canadian citizens. It should be noted that the Ontario and British Columbia Provincial Governments also confirmed that their respective internet providers wouldn’t be collecting phone location data. Some specific operators engage exclusively with provinces like Ontario or British Columbia.