Statistics Estonia is planning mobility analysis to prevent the spread of the coronavirus
The crisis commission of the Government of the Republic issued an order to Statistics Estonia for the preparation of analytical output using anonymous data from electronic communications, with the purpose to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The goal is to launch the project this week.
According to Mart Mägi, Director General of Statistics Estonia, the purpose of the ordered mobility analysis is to study how the Estonian society has adopted the measures introduced during the emergency situation. “As the first step, the plan includes using anonymised aggregate data to analyse people’s movements before and after the emergency situation was declared. Currently, telecommunications enterprises are analysing the feasibility of the project, and once we come to an agreement with them, we will start processing the anonymous data by strictly scientific methods. The data processing will only take place in the secure environment of Statistics Estonia. The obtained data will not leave our office and will be deleted after processing. The client data of telecommunications enterprises continue to be protected according to the data protection rules in force in Estonia, and the data scope and processing principles have been approved by the Data Protection Inspectorate as well as the Ministry of Justice,” said Mägi.
The processing of anonymous data is necessary until the end of the emergency situation to fight the coronavirus more effectively. The data will not be used to solve any other tasks.
“It is notable that all participants in this project are weighing using their resources to come and help the state in making evidence-based decisions. We have been in contact with other European countries and received confirmation that this kind of cooperation and data use are already taking place elsewhere or it is being considered,” added Mägi.
For the mobility analysis, Statistics Estonia is cooperating with the Government Office, the Health Board, the Data Protection Inspectorate, the IT Centre of the Ministry of Finance and with telecommunications companies. Private company Positium OÜ will contribute by developing methodology for the mobility analysis and in the following data visualisation but will not be involved in data processing.
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