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Amid the coronavirus pandemic, even privacy-conscious European governments have asked telecom companies for residents’ phone location data in hopes of understanding whether national social distancing measures such as stay-at-home orders and business closures are having any effect on the spread of COVID-19.
Some of the hardest-hit countries, including Italy and Spain, are now open to proposals for mobile apps that can make contact tracing more efficient and alert people who have come into contact with someone infected by the novel coronavirus.