Apple released a tool which uses data collected from Apple Maps to graph movement trends among residents in more than 60 countries, expanding its efforts to help combat the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
The company said the data is generated based on requests made to Apple Maps for directions. It details changes in the volume of people driving, walking and taking public tranport, with information searchable by city and country.
Apple added the data is meant to provide “helpful insights” to local governments as they implement public policies in response to the virus, noting it will be available “for a limited time during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Other privacy protections include randomising the data to prevent Apple from keeping a profile of a person’s movements or searches. The availability of the information is subject to a variety of factors, including whether a minimum number of searches are made in a given day.
The move comes after Apple and Google announced plans to collaborate on the development of a Bluetooth-based contact tracing technology and a fortnight after the search giant also made data available directly.