Enormous COVID-19 database funded by Google compiles individual infection data, tracks travel history and 40 other variables


01-03-21 03:17:00, Image: Enormous COVID-19 database funded by Google compiles individual infection data, tracks travel history and 40 other variables

(Natural News) A major international database was launched this week to help study coronavirus infections with the aim of determining how rapidly new variants are spreading among people, whether the currently available vaccines are offering good protection against them, and how long people’s immunity to the virus is lasting. However, the fact that Google had a hand in its creation is leading to privacy concerns.

The new repository was launched with financial and technical Support from Google and the Rockefeller Foundation. It was created by a team of researchers across seven academic institutions in the United States and Europe and launched with information from 24 million cases across 150 countries.

This repository is collecting an unprecedented amount of information about individual cases in a single place. The information for each individual is reportedly anonymized and contains as many as 40 variables, such as the date when the person first experienced symptoms, the date they tested positive for the virus and their travel history.

It was developed after a shared Google spreadsheet used by epidemiologists around the world to track the disease became overloaded; Google’s engineers helped write computer codes to automatically upload daily COVID-19 data from 60 governments around the world in a standardized format while deleting duplicate entries.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers said that this type of data will be useful in helping determine how the disease is spreading. Researchers are hopeful that the database will allow them to monitor the vaccines and variants of the disease in the coming months and serve as a template for tracking real-time data from future epidemics.

If such a database had existed earlier in the outbreak, scientists believe that epidemiologists may have been able to verify that the virus was spreading from person to person frequently in China well before the World Health Organization admitted it – something that may have helped stop the pandemic from growing so far out of control.

Scientists have said that expanding the database to an adaptable platform for surveying other diseases in future epidemics would require assistance from a company or non-profit to move forward.

Will “anonymized” data truly remain anonymous?

Any time there is a public database like this,

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