This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes Google sharing locations with policymakers; COVID-19’s impact on startups; and more.
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Google sharing location data to combat virus
Google has decided to share its wealth of anonymized location data with public health officials to identify movement trends in order to better combat the spread of COVID-19, Wired reports.
“The reports, available in PDF format, show how visits to broad categories of places—such as retail and leisure establishment, grocery and pharmacy stores, and residential areas—have changed in the past two months,” the news outlet reports. “The data show median daily visits to those categories for the three days ending March 29, compared with the median number of visits between January 3 and February 6.”
Bandwidth impacted by coronavirus
The New York Times reports the responses to combat the coronavirus’ spread in various countries have been followed by slowing average internet speeds “as people who were stuck inside went online more and clogged the networks.” This phenomenon occurred in China in January, in Italy, Germany and Spain in February and now in the U.S.
By mid-March, “the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased (in the U.S.) as broadband speeds declined 4.9%,” according to Ookla.
COVID-19 is sinking tech startups
Tech startups are seeing a disproportionate negative impact from the economic halt related to the coronavirus, The New York Times reports.
Martin Pichinson, who leads Sherwood Partners, an advisory group that helps Silicon Valley startups restructure amid crisis, said his company has seen its call volume as much as four times greater than anything he’d seen before.
“This is the great unwinding,” he said.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.