SICK SURVEILLANCE: GOOGLE REPORTS FLU SEARCHES, LOCATIONS TO FEDS
GOOGLE will launch a new tool that will help federal officials “track sickness”.
Flu terms uses search terms that people put into the web giant to figure out where influenza is heating up and will notify the centers for disease control and prevention in real time.
Google, continuing to work closely with government, claims it will keep individual user data confidential: “GOOGLE FLU TRENDS can never be used to identify individual users because we rely on anonymized, aggregated counts of how often certain search queries occur each week.”
Engineers will capture keywords and phrases related to the flu, including thermometer, flu symptoms, muscle aches, chest congestion and others.