Mobile phone data can track the spread of infectious diseases

Mobile phone data can track the spread of infectious diseases

Any technology can be put to good and bad uses; Researchers at Princeton University and Harvard University have used anonymous mobile phone records for more than 15 million people to track the spread of rubella disease in Kenya and were able to quantitatively show that mobile phone data can predict seasonal disease patterns. We can see how this kind of reporting could be used to improve health service and education support where needed.

Google Traffic already uses a similar technique...

"Google Traffic is a feature on Google Maps which displays traffic conditions in real-time on major roads and highways in over 50 countries.


Google Traffic works by analyzing the GPS-determined locations transmitted to Google by a large number of mobile phone users. By calculating the speed of users along a length of road, Google is able to generate a live traffic map."

I doubt we would object to either of the above uses of mobile phone data, provided we trusted the companies involved to anonymize the individual phone records. And we all read those End User Licence Agreements and Privacy Policies before we decide to use a new product don't we ;) .

In some situations, you are able to improve your security while using technology, simply by the choices you make when creating an account and setting up your profile. Given the millions of customer records that have been hacked from even quite high profile companies, this is something we need to be aware of whenever we register for a new on-line account. HealthUnlocked specifically allows you to change your username so that you can maintain your personal privacy for example.

On line Security starts with YOU!

Security tips you can use on this site and elsewhere:

Here are some previous polls that will help you get more out of this site while improving your knowledge of site related privacy/security features


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