Protecting public health during the pandemic with crowd movement analytics
Protecting public health during the pandemic with crowd movement analytics

Protecting public health during the pandemic with crowd movement analytics

The use of anonymized and aggregated telecom mobility data by a public health agency during the COVID-19 pandemic: Learnings from both the operator and agency perspective.

This is the abstract from the Cambridge University Press article. You can read the full article here.

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures implemented have rapidly changed how people move about and behave in society. Utilizing data on people’s mobility could provide unique and valuable insights to governments and institutions to better manage the crisis. These entities, however, have not traditionally had access to, nor the experience of applying, continuous anonymized and aggregated data on people mobility.

This article aims to show how the Public Health Agency in Sweden successfully collaborated with a Nordic Telecoms operator to make use of such data during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, it investigates how the collaboration started, approaches used to go from data to insight, outcomes and impact, and lessons learned on both sides.

Telia, the largest telecom operator in the Nordics, had an existing product commercially available that provided anonymized and aggregated insights about people’s movement. Several challenges existed within Telia as it was the first time worldwide a collaboration with a Public Health Agency would take place and social benefits had to be weighed against commercial and reputational risks. The hypothesis at the beginning of the pandemic was that the solution could be adapted to fit the needs of policymakers and the internal challenges could be overcome, while providing a meaningful contribution to the fight against the virus.

The results show that it is possible to both form a mutually beneficial collaboration between a telecom operator and a public institution, and to make use of mobility data in evidence-based policymaking without compromising applicable personal data protection laws.

Read the full article

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