Facebook asks users to report coronavirus symptoms

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Facebook will ask American users if they have symptoms that could be related to the corona virus. It works together with scientists who have drawn up a questionnaire and who can use the data to map the spread of the virus.

Facebook is collaborating with scientists from Carnegie Mellon University for the study, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post. The social network will present users with a questionnaire asking if they want to fill it out. This is done on a voluntary basis and is also possible if the user has no symptoms.

The list contains questions about the health of the users. For example, it asks what symptoms users experience. The researchers will use the data to get an idea of ​​which hospitals will see more patients in the near future and whether additional ventilators or ventilators are needed somewhere. The study is also intended to map the course of the pandemic. “Researchers believe the data from these services could help determine where health equipment is needed, where lockdowns need to be strengthened and which areas can reopen,” Zuckerberg wrote.

The Facebook CEO says the answers are “not accessible to Facebook.” “It is important that we stick to our privacy principles and have clear policies for the use of this data.” Zuckerberg says he will be announcing more details about how the company plans to do that soon. He goes on to say that the feature will initially only be deployed in America, but could be rolled out to other countries if it is successful.

Facebook is not the only company using data to map the spread of the coronavirus. Different countries are building their own apps that track who citizens are in contact with. Companies such as Google also provide data about where people are during lockdowns. Earlier it turned out that Facebook gave anonymous data to researchers to keep track of the corona virus.

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