COVID-19 social distancing scoreboard: How does is work? | KOB 4

COVID-19 social distancing scoreboard: How does is work?

Joy Wang
Created: April 01, 2020 10:04 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— The governor displayed data in a Tuesday press conference that show rating for how counties are doing in social distancing.

The ratings come from the company Unacast and works by gathering GPS data from smartphones. According to Unacast’s social distancing scoreboard, New Mexico received a "C" for social distancing.

KOB 4 reached out to Unacast to figure out how the grading system worked and whether it accounted for essential workers traveling or people traveling in rural areas. Unacast did not get back to KOB 4 in time for this story.

Here’s what we do know:

  • The main data used was based on anonymous phones and their interactions with each other every day.
  • Unacast claims it follows general data protection regulations in our country to gather that data.
  • Researchers used that information to determine the increase or decrease in the average distance people traveled within our counties.
  • Unacast claims the goal is to add layers to that research because as we know tracking social distancing can be complicated.
  • The company claims it also wants to use that phone data to track your encounters with other people and how many places you've visited.

For more information about Unacast’s social distancing scoreboards, click here.


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