Location data against the coronavirus: so will the European Union

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The fight against the coronavirus is the top priority in Europe at the moment. To stop the advance of the virus is a problem that still has not found a solution, although technology may play a decisive role, such as having access to the location data, a measure which countries like Israel have adopted, and it is expanding also in Europe in general, but also in Spain.

Already a few days ago we talked about an initiative in Valencia, which sought to use mobile data to track the progress of the virus. The Spanish government has been taking steps the past few days, as the control the location of the mobile, in order to avoid crowds. Now, the main european operators have agreed to sharing location data from smartphones with the European Commission in order to follow with greater accuracy the spread of the coronavirus.

Smartphones as allies against the coronavirus

Location data against the coronavirus: so will the European Union 1

Operators such as Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom have come together this week with the EU, to agree that they will share these data. The data obtained will be helpful to be able to coordinate all sorts of measures, as the supply of materials and medical equipment, or the location of patients in quarantine. In addition, the European Commission has said that the data will be anonymous, and that such data will be deleted once they exceed this crisis in the EU, in a few months. This project does not violate any standard of privacy at the european level.

Though it has been requested that the data access is limited, in order to avoid problems of transparency or to violate the privacy of the users. Since this type of initiatives, that track user data, can be complex to reverse. It’s a plan which has been taken in Spain, of which we told you about a few days ago, and that was to go on unfolding these days.

The use of location data or mobile data, smartphones can help to continue the expansion of the coronavirus, allowing it to take appropriate measures. As it would be possible to detect foci, so that you are going to allocate more resources to that area, such as the use of medical equipment. Or better study the way in which it is moving in different territories, that can help you be prepared for their advance, to anticipate its spread.

Several operators in Europe had already offered to governments and to the EU to share these data as a measure in the fight against the coronavirus. Finally, this Wednesday has signed the agreement, so we can expect that they will start soon to share such data and will have to wait to see if they are a measure of utility in this situation of crisis.

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