Facebook and Google Survey Data May Help Map Covid-19's Spread

"Jen King, the director of consumer privacy at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, points out that even with guidelines from CMU’s review board in place and the tech companies acting as mere conduits for the surveys, Facebook and Google are both powerful enough to gather data for their own health-tracking projects, if they so desire. Google, she notes, has our search trends. And “Facebook has so many possible data points that they can do an analysis of anyone who is posting anything in their News Feed right now, complaining about feeling sick or having a fever,” King says. “They could try to parse what people are saying on their own and figure out how to use that to possibly track infections.”"