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How the cell phones of spring breakers who flouted coronavirus warnings were tracked

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How the cell phones of spring breakers who flouted coronavirus warnings were tracked
People exercise in South Pointe Park on March 18, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida. […] Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Article by Donie O’Sullivan.

The Trump administration wants to use Americans’ smartphone location data to help track and combat the spread of coronavirus. Now, a pair of US data companies are making a public pitch to show just how that kind of technology might work.

X-Mode and Tectonix focused on a high-profile case: tracking location data from the phones of people who visited the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in March — among them spring breakers who made national news two weeks ago when they ignored warnings to practice social distancing despite the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The results of tracking data, a map posted on Twitter, showed where people went after they visited the beach, spreading out all across the country to major cities including New York and Chicago, possibly bringing the coronavirus with them. […]

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