Facebook stated Monday it might begin surveying some U.S. users about their health as a part of a Carnegie Mellon University research project geared toward producing “heat maps” of self-reported coronavirus infections.
The social media titan will display a link on the top of users’ News Feeds directing them to the survey, which the researchers say will help them predict where medical equipment is needed. Facebook stated it might make surveys obtainable to users in other nations too if the strategy is profitable.
Alphabet’s Google, Facebook’s competitor in mobile advertising, started querying users for the Carnegie Mellon project in March via its Opinion Rewards app, which exchanges responses to surveys from Google and its clients for app store credit.
Facebook noted in a blog post that the Carnegie Mellon researchers “won’t share individual survey responses with Facebook, and Facebook won’t share details about who you are with the researchers.”
The company additionally stated it will start making new categories of data available to epidemiologists via its Disease Prevention Maps program, which is sharing aggregated location data with partners in 40 nations working on COVID-19 response.
Researchers use the data to offer daily updates on how people are moving around in numerous areas to authorities in those nations, along with delegates in several U.S. cities and states.