Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

US government officials are using cellphone location data from the mobile ad industry —not data from the carriers themselves— to track Americans’ movements during the coronavirus outbreak, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with state and local governments have received cell phone data about people in areas of “geographic interest,” the WSJ reports.

The goal is to create a government portal with geolocation information from some 500 cities across the country, to help ascertain how well people are complying with stay-at-home orders, according to the WSJ. One example of how the anonymized data was reportedly used: Researchers discovered large numbers of people were gathering in a New…

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