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How every country is tracking Covid-19 and monitoring its citizens

Countries around the world are using mobile data to track Covid-19—and their citizens.
REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist


For governments and researchers seeking ways to control the spread of Covid-19, mobile-phone data is valuable. Tracking the virus and restricting the movement of those infected has been important in reducing cases globally. Using location data from mobile phones can facilitate those initiatives.

Governments are trying to navigate the right balance between public health goals and residents’ expectations for personal privacy. Not all are doing it well. At least 29 countries are using data from mobile phones to inform their day-to-day efforts to contact possibly exposed people, enforce quarantines, and analyze social patterns.

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