Covid-19 continues to dominate the news cycle as the number of infections climbs by the thousands each day. Intrusion attempts are on the rise as unscrupulous individuals take advantage of the confusion and fear surrounding the virus. Phony apps that steal your data and malware that cracks your router are eveyrwhere, and we may see the digital fallout from this crisis in the years to come as the treasure trove of data uncovered from these activities finds its way into the wild. A Norwegian company, Uncast, is taking advantage of data that is, legally, publically available to show how different localities are handling social distancing. They’re taking advantage of GPS data that people knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly, make public or that are provided from an app run on the individual’s phone to show how well people maintain their distance from one another. They’ve provided grades for counties and states, with Tennessee getting a “B” while Hawai’i earns itself an “F”.
Uncast notes that the data they’ve used would constitute Personal Data, but is quick to point out that the public ways they’ve provided data is anonymized, so there’s no need to worry about an individual’s privacy being breached. Assuming, of course, that you’re fine with a random Norwegian company being able to track exactly where you’ve been for the past few weeks without you ever knowing.