Daily Digest (3/31)

Google May Share COVID-19 Data With UK Officials; Survey: US Should Not Infringe Privacy on Coronavirus; UK Internet Firms Dropping Caps for Customers; WH: Coronavirus Loans for Small Businesses Could Come Friday. Click below for more.

Google May Share COVID-19 Data With UK Officials

Google is in talks with the UK government about sharing aggregated and anonymous app data to show whether people are practicing social distancing to combat the coronavirus.

The talks are in the early stages, the company told New Scientist. It would possibly share “trends in location data, similar to a Google Maps feature that allows users to see when certain locations are busy,” according to the report.

Google, however, stressed that it hadn’t yet shared any data with authorities.


Survey: US Should Not Infringe Privacy on Coronavirus

The U.S. government should not follow other countries in tracking Americans’ location data in trying to limit the spread of COVID-19, according to 51% of technology experts surveyed by The Washington Post.

The newspaper polled its “Technology 202 Network” of more than 100 experts in the public and private sectors.

The results “underscored the tensions even within industry between preserving privacy and pulling out all the stops to respond to a public health crisis,” the Post reports.


UK Internet Firms Dropping Caps for Customers

Top UK broadband providers will drop restrictions to and enact other measures to provide internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The companies — including Virgin Media, Vodafone and Sky — committed to the new standards after talks with UK authorities, ZDNet reports.

The steps include working with customers struggling to pay bills because of economic hardship, to remove data caps on all fixed broadband services and to provide alternative methods of communication to those most vulnerable in case of broadband or landline failure.


WH: Coronavirus Loans for Small Businesses Could Come Friday

Loans for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic could come as early as Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The $2 trillion economic aid package signed into law Friday provides almost $350 billion in loans for companies with fewer than 500 employees, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The loans would come through the Small Business Administration, he said.