Facebook has plans to expand its symptom tracking survey globally in an effort to measure the spread of COVID-19.
The social media giant has been able to effectively measure the spread of the virus in the U.S. after conducting a two-week survey of Facebook users. The findings from the survey, which were shared by Carnegie Melon, correlate with public data and show how the virus spread across the country.
Facebook has now partnered with the University of Maryland to gather symptom data from around the world. If users around the world respond to the survey at the same rate that users in the U.S. did, then it could provide a map of potential global hotspots.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge that the global maps could outline countries that have been slow in their response to the pandemic.
“Some of these governments, frankly, are not excited about the world knowing how many actual cases there might be, or indicators of how it’s spreading in their countries. So getting that data out there is very important,” Zuckerberg told The Verge.
Since the start of the pandemic, Facebook has taken a number of measures to show that it could be effective in relaying important information and combating misinformation.
However, these new data collection measures come as the social media giant is being investigated for privacy issues. Facebook is still under scrutiny for its data privacy measures. It’s possible that that the company may face some pushback for its global plans.
Source: The Verge