They show both the movements of people near or far from home and the “social connection index” to hypothesize the spread of the infection and the chances that people in one area come into contact with people from another area. For researchers from all over the world, including some who are part of the Italian force
ROME – A few days ago Google, which is preparing to make its data available to experts with the movements of people and the crowding of places, now also Facebook. That’s right. The social created by Mark Zuckerberg has decided to extend its Data for Good program by making new tools available to researchers around the world to study and prevent the evolution of coronavirus infection. In Italy among these are the professor’s team Stefano Denicolai, of the University of Pavia, and the Laboratory of Data Science and Complexity of the University of Venice, led by Walter Quattrociocchi. Both are part of the task force appointed by the Italian government to combat the Covid-19 emergency, which at this point is presumed to use Facebook data.
Coronavirus, travel and crowded places: a Google report to help health authorities
The tools put in place by Facebook are three new types of maps that help understand both the movements of people near or far from home and the “social connection index” to hypothesize the spread of the infection and the chances that people in a the area come into contact with people from another area. In Italy, the analyzes of the universities affiliated to the project have not yet been made public.
Furthermore, only for the United States and in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University’s Delphi Research Center, there is one more element: a questionnaire has been developed that some users will see appear at the top of their flow of news on Facebook and in which they will have to insert their state of health in total anonymity. “We think Facebook and the technology industry can provide innovative ways to help experts and authorities in this crisis. We don’t think these efforts should compromise privacy,” he explained. Steve Satterfield, director of privacy and public policy of Facebook.
The initiative put in place by Facebook for a few hours is part of the larger Data for Good project with which it has been sharing this type of data with selected institutes and research groups for a few weeks. In Italy, the universities where Walter Quattrociocchi and Stefano Denicolai teach are part of the technology task force appointed by the government and are in the subgroup “Web data and socio-economic impact”.