Apr 20, 2020 - Technology

Facebook unveils county-level maps of people with coronavirus symptoms

Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook unveiled Monday county-by-county maps of people with coronavirus symptoms, and says they'll be updated daily throughout the crisis.

Why it matters: "I think providing aggregate data to governments and health officials is one of the most important tools tech companies can provide to help respond to COVID," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tells Axios.

  • "Since experiencing symptoms is a precursor to going to the hospital or becoming more seriously ill, these maps could be an important tool for governments and public health officials to make decisions on how to allocate scarce resources like ventilators and PPE, and eventually when it's safe to start reopening society," Zuckerberg added.
  • The company plans to begin running the surveys globally this week, with the first results soon.

Zuckerberg writes today in a Washington Post op-ed that, in contrast to past global pandemics, "we have a new superpower: the ability to gather and share data for good."

  • "If we use it responsibly, I’m optimistic that data can help the world respond to this health crisis and get us started on the road to recovery."
Go deeper