Company uses cell phone data to track social distancing


Company uses cell phone data to track social distancing

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/CNN) - A data company is using cell phones to see how many people are really staying inside.

States such as Nevada, Illinois and Minnesota received “A” ratings from the company Unacast, indicating that people are following social distancing guidelines. Unacast claims travel in Minnesota was cut down by 45%.

The data the company collects for their research is bought by Unacast from app developers.

Mark Lanterman is the CTO of Computer Forensic Services in Minneapolis. He says the most common data that gets sold from our phones is our active, real time location.

The data shows when we’re outside of a building versus inside and can tell companies when we’re on a different floor from other people.

“It’s very specific and it’s in real time,” Lanterman said.

Unacast won’t say what app they partnered with, but Lanterman says it’s likely most people have them on their phone.

“Whenever we gain convenience from technology, we always give up a little bit of security,” Lanterman said.

New Jersey and Rhode Island also received “A” ratings from Unacast.

Copyright 2020 WCCO via CNN. All rights reserved.