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Google will track movements during coronavirus pandemic

Google will publicly track people's movements during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech giant is set to publish details of the types of places people are visiting in each county across the UK, and similar date will be revealed for 130 other countries.

The company announced: "As global communities respond to COVID-19, we've heard from public health officials that the same type of aggregated, anonymized insights we use in products such as Google Maps could be helpful as they make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

"These Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19.

"The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential."

Google revealed the reports are split by location, and they will display "the change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks".

The company - which confirmed they will only be available "for a limited time" - also addressed potential privacy concerns.

They continued: "No personally identifiable information, such as an individual's location, contacts or movement, will be made available at any point.

"Insights in these reports are created with aggregated, anonymised sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default.

"People who have Location History turned on can choose to turn it off at any time from their Google Account and can always delete Location History data directly from their Timeline."

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