Photo: Google

Google late Thursday announced a program to give leaders around the world more data during the coronavirus crisis on where people are traveling (and where they aren't) based on aggregate, anonymous data collected by Google Maps.

Why it matters: Health experts have been asking for more location data to make decisions. This move aims to meet some of those needs without sharing sensitive individual data.

Details: The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, as the new documents are known, will show recent trends (over the past 48 to 72 hours) of the percentage increase or decrease in visits to places like retail stores, recreation spots, groceries and pharmacies, parks, workplaces and residential locations.

  • Google will offer the reports initially for 131 countries, offering data at the regional and local level (in the U.S. it will provide data for states and counties).
  • Google is sharing the reports with governments and releasing it publicly, but it is not sharing the underlying data, which comes from Google Maps users who have opted in to share data. (Google has used such data in the past to show how busy various restaurants and bars tend to be at a particular time.)

What the reports do: The new information could help leaders get a sense for how well shelter-in-place orders are working and whether different measures might be needed to reduce traffic to a particular kind of location or, say, whether more or less public transit is needed at a given time.

What they don't do: These reports won't allow authorities to track individuals, trace contacts or glean information on who is infected. Google is also only showing the percentage change for each category in the report, not the absolute number.

Go deeper

Virtual Emmys address chaotic year for American TV and society

Emmy Host Jimmy Kimmel during rehearsals Friday for the 72nd Annual Emmy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Emmy Awards Sunday night addressed the major U.S. issues this year — including the protests on systemic racism and police brutality, the wildfires engulfing parts of the West Coast, the census, the pandemic, essential works and the election.

Why it matters: Award shows have always addressed wider cultural issues, but this year — amid unprecedented stress and uncertainty — that trend has accelerated.

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 30,919,638 — Total deaths: 959,332— Total recoveries: 21,152,996Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30p.m. ET: 6,799,141 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.