A couple of weeks ago, Google announced that they would be releasing location data to help authorities better understand how the COVID-19 virus spreads, and also to see who are moving about when they shouldn’t. It looks like it is now Apple’s turn to do the same, where they are releasing their mobility data that will pretty much do the same thing.
According to Apple, “This mobility data may provide helpful insights to local governments and health authorities and may also be used as a foundation for new public policies by showing the change in volume of people driving, walking or taking public transit in their communities.” Given Apple’s attitude towards privacy, it seems that the company wants to reassure their users that the data does not tie-in with the user’s Apple ID.
This means that no one will know that it is you moving about on the map. Apple also stresses that they do not keep a history of where the user has been. Instead, Apple claims that this information is actually generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions.
It’s not surprising that Apple has released this data not too long after Google did. Both companies recently announced that they will be teaming up to help develop contact tracing features that will be built into iOS and Android. If you’re interested in checking out Apple’s mobility data, head on over to their website for the details.