While Google is exploring ways to inform people about the spread of the novel coronavirus, the company said it will not be sharing location data of users with governments or industries to track people who may have contracted the COVID-19 disease.
Google has been in talks about industry leaders and governments to see how it could respond to the pandemic. The company does have a treasure trove of location data and that can be identified as a potential asset for the fight, but the company is also well aware of privacy concerns.
Google put out a statement saying they have not shared any “aggregate anonymized location data for this purpose as we are still assessing the best way to help”. The company further mentioned that it has no plans to share location data with industries or firms.
Having said that, Google still hasn’t completely ruled out using location data in the future, but in limited ways.
“We’re exploring ways that aggregated anonymized location information could help in the fight against COVID-19,” a Google spokesperson told Bloomberg. “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.”