Facebook will ask users if they have been infected with the coronavirus as part of a project to generate “heat maps” of the epidemic.
Initially focused on users of the social media giant in the United States, the survey is part of a coronavirus Carnegie Mellon University research project to analyze the spread of COVID-19.
A link to the survey will be displayed at the top of users’ news feeds, and the results should allow them to predict where medical resources are needed.
Facebook has said that if the project is successful, it could also introduce the investigations to other countries.
He said he would not share user credentials with the university and that researchers would not share individual survey responses with the company.
Facebook added that it would begin making new categories of data available to epidemic scientists through a new program called Disease Prevention Maps, which shares aggregated location data with partners in 40 countries.
Other tech companies are also working to produce heat maps for governments showing the spread of the virus.
British government asked O2 mobile phone network to share anonymous location data on smartphone so he can generate heat maps to see if people are following his social distancing guidelines, as Sky News revealed.
Sky News also revealed that the controversial spyware company NSO Group Introduces Software to Western Governments which would allow them to use location data to track who the infected could have been in contact with.