Katie Kerekes, FISM News
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purchased cellular data from tracking companies to monitor Americans’ compliance with lockdowns, according to contracts obtained by The Epoch Times.
Approved under emergency rules granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency obtained data from a reported minimum of 55 million cellular users, paying a sum of $628,000 across two companies for the information.
One 36-page contract between the CDC and a company called Cuebiq Inc. highlights agreement stipulations concerning “Mobility Insights Data,” or tracking information, to be shared to purportedly “continue critical emergency response functions.”
“This Contract will provide CDC with the necessary data to continue critical emergency response functions related to evaluating the impact of visits to key points of interest, stay-at-home orders, closures, re-openings, and other public health communications related to social distancing, mask mandates, and other emerging research areas (social inequalities) on community transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” the document reads.
“Mobility data are derived from the location of cell phones at various points in time and aggregated over time or geography or both to create various metrics that have been or will be used by CDC.”
The contract states the CDC will use the data to calculate “population mobility” in order to support the “COVID-19 pandemic emergency response and other CDC public health priorities.”
The Mobility Insights Data will not be limited to measuring the population’s daily average distance traveled, percentage of mobile devices at home in a given period of time, social distancing, shelter-in-place adherence, and destination tracking.
Specifically, CDC intends to use Contractor’s Mobility Insights Data and services acquired through this Contract to 1) assess spatiotemporal trends of population mobility in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate the impacts of social distancing behaviors on COVID-19; 2) assess adherence during period of shelter-in-place by exploring the percentage of mobile devices at home during a specific period of time; 3) integrate with other data to provide a comprehensive picture of movement/travel of persons during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand mandatory stay-at-home orders, business closures, school re-openings, and other non pharmaceutical interventions and states and cities; and 4) monitor travel to vaccine distribution points of interest such as pharmacies.
Other health priorities according to the contract include, but are not limited to, “travel to parks and greenspaces, physical activity and mode of travel, and population before, during, and after natural disasters,” and the contract states the data will be “available for CDC agency-wide use” to “support numerous CDC priorities.”