CDC Used Telephone Location Knowledge to Monitor Church buildings and Colleges to Decide Whether or not Individuals Adopted Covid Lockdown Orders


The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention used cellphone location knowledge to trace hundreds of thousands Individuals in 2021.

The CDC monitored curfew zones, church buildings, faculties, neighbor-to-neighbor visits and journeys to pharmacies by way of SafeGraph, a controversial knowledge dealer.

The CDC bought the cellphone knowledge and used Covid-19 as an excuse to purchase the information extra shortly and in bigger portions in line with paperwork completely obtained by Motherboard by way of a FOIA request.

The CDC used the information to find out whether or not Individuals have been complying with Covid lockdown orders.

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Motherboard reported:

The paperwork reveal the expansive plan the CDC had final yr to make use of location knowledge from a extremely controversial knowledge dealer. SafeGraph, the corporate the CDC paid $420,000 for entry to at least one yr of information to, contains Peter Thiel and the previous head of Saudi intelligence amongst its buyers. Google banned the corporate from the Play Retailer in June.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) purchased entry to location knowledge harvested from tens of hundreds of thousands of telephones in the US to carry out evaluation of compliance with curfews, monitor patterns of individuals visiting Okay-12 faculties, and particularly monitor the effectiveness of coverage within the Navajo Nation, in line with CDC paperwork obtained by Motherboard. The paperwork additionally present that though the CDC used COVID-19 as a motive to purchase entry to the information extra shortly, it supposed to make use of it for extra basic CDC functions.

The CDC used the information for monitoring curfews, with the paperwork saying that SafeGraph’s knowledge “has been vital for ongoing response efforts, reminiscent of hourly monitoring of exercise in curfew zones or detailed counts of visits to collaborating pharmacies for vaccine monitoring.” The paperwork date from 2021.

Motherboard obtained the paperwork by way of a Freedom of Data Act (FOIA) request with the CDC.

The paperwork include a protracted record of what the CDC describes as 21 completely different “potential CDC use instances for knowledge.” They embrace:

 

  • “Monitor patterns of these visiting Okay-12 faculties by the varsity and examine to 2019; examine with epi metrics [Environmental Performance Index] if doable.”

  • “Examination of the correlation of mobility patterns knowledge and rise in COVID-19 instances […] Motion restrictions (Border closures, inter-regional and nigh curfews) to indicate compliance.”

  • “Examination of the effectiveness of public coverage on [the] Navajo Nation.”

Learn the total report by Motherboard right here.



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