Reston data company X-Mode talked to CNN about tracking those spring breakers - Technical.ly DC

Software Development

Apr. 10, 2020 12:37 pm

Reston data company X-Mode talked to CNN about tracking those spring breakers

"We wanted to showcase the impact of what happens when you don’t exercise social distancing and essentially how small our community is," Josh Anton said.
Where all those spring breakers traveled once they left Florida.

Where all those spring breakers traveled once they left Florida.

(Screenshot)

Governments around the world have begun using cell phone data location info to track the spread of COVID-19, stirring conversation around the ethics of such data use.

But since the Trump administration announced it wants Americans’ cell phone data, too, Reston, Virginia-based data company X-Mode has stepped forward to show just how that data could be used.

CEO Josh Anton was featured on CNN last weekend as he explained X-Mode’s recent partnership with data viz company Tectonix GEO, focusing on a highly visible case that involves tracking the location data from people who visited a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Among the visitors were spring breakers who made national headlines a few weeks ago when they ignored warnings to practice social distancing.

The results of the cell phone tracking data was posted on a map on twitter which showed where people traveled after they visited the beach, spreading across the country to major cities like New York and Chicago — possibly bringing the coronavirus along with them.

X-Mode CMO Jake Ellenburg told Technical.ly in February that the company provides location tracking services to makers of weather, transit and other apps that have use for location services. According to Ellenburg (and Anton, in the CNN interview), the data X-Mode collects is anonymized, meaning it does not match individuals to the devices it tracks. The company did not provide the name of the apps its technology is embedded in.

“We wanted to showcase the impact of what happens when you don’t exercise social distancing and essentially how small our community is,” Anton told CNN.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Dc

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!