To help the population and health authorities in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple launched a new online tool that allows you to check whether people are complying with social isolation measures.
Mobility Trend Reports works in a similar way to the tool launched by Google in early April. Based on anonymous and aggregated data from Apple Maps, the company provides daily information to show mobility trends, whether on foot or by car, in 63 countries and cities since January 13, 2020.
In Portugal, Mobility Trend Reports reveals that there was a 86% decrease in foot travel and a 78% decrease in vehicle movement. Between March and April, it is possible to notice a sharp decline in national mobility trends.
The tool demonstrates that, to date, daily travel in several countries has decreased significantly. In Italy, one of the European countries most affected by the pandemic, citizens' movements show a decrease of around 85%. In the United Kingdom, the figures show a decrease of 70%. Germany follows, with 46% less, and the United States, with 45% less.
In a statement, Apple ensures that user privacy is a priority, stressing that the data used is anonymous. Apple Maps does not associate mobility data collected from a given user's ID and Apple does not keep a record of where a specific individual has been, the company says.
Recently, Apple and Google decided to join efforts to combat the pandemic of COVID-19. In a press release, the technological giants made it known that, through the use of Bluetooth technology and the creation of applications, they intend to "help governments and health agencies to reduce the spread of the virus", with the user's privacy and security being essential elements.
The companies clarified that the applications that will track users will not be imposed by governments on citizens, the same principle being applied to state entities. The API access for creating apps will be restricted to recognized public health institutions.