Google is exploring ways to use information to combat the novel coronavirus, but the company said it is not sharing user location data with governments or industry groups to track people who may have Covid-19.

The largest U.S. internet company has been talking with other tech companies and governments about how to respond to the pandemic. Google’s huge trove of location information has been identified as a useful asset in the fight, but the company has to balance user privacy concerns.

In a statement on Tuesday, Google said it has not shared any “aggregate anonymized location data for this purpose as we are still assessing the best way to help.” The company also stressed that it has no plans to share or combine data with the industry or other firms.

The company didn’t completely rule out tapping this information in limited ways in the future.

“We’re exploring ways that aggregated anonymized location information could help in the fight against COVID-19,” a Google spokesperson wrote in an email. “One example could be helping health authorities determine the impact of social distancing, similar to the way we show popular restaurant times and traffic patterns in Google Maps.”

NewsSource: Livemint


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