Facebook Introduces Covid-19 Symptom Survey Map

One of the biggest strengths that Facebook has as an institution has to do with the fact that it is able to maximize the manner in which it can end up looking into collecting data from its users, and while this is something that has made a lot of people concerned about the security of what they are looking into this does not necessarily mean that it will always be a bad thing. Indeed, in the current crisis that humanity is facing this strength that Facebook displays can actually come in handy because of the fact that it can help make it so that the spread of the virus can be tracked.

Facebook is helping in this regard by looking into surveying its users and tracking those that are experiencing symptoms. This has been happening for two weeks now which means that enough data has come in to be compared with pre-existing data in this regard, and there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into consideration as well but for the most part Facebook has found that the data they are collecting is in line with that which is being shared by institutions such as Carnegie Mellon.

Hence, Facebook explains that the survey might just be useful in tracking the spread of the virus and even predicting who might have it once enough data has been collected, something that would help authorities help people who might have contracted the virus but haven’t really shown any symptoms yet all in all. While it will take some time for the data to make this possible, the trajectory is certainly headed in this direction and in time we might be able to see some concrete results.

The great news is that while the initial phase of this survey was carried out solely in the US, Facebook will be expanding it to a lot more countries. This is definitely the way to go as the crisis we are facing is most certainly a global one, one that will affect us whether or not our country is going through a rough time.

This global symptom data collection will be a collaboration between Facebook as well as the University of Maryland, and it could help identify various hotspots that can then be dealt with. Some would be concerned about Facebook getting access to this much data but others would argue that the social media platform could very well end up using this data a lot more responsibly than might have been the case otherwise, at least if the company follows the directives that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has assured it will follow.

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