Flu Surveillance

No system of mass surveillance has existed in any society that we know of to this point that has not been abused - Edward Snowden

Flu Surveillance

image by: Pierre-Alain Dorange
     

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When Google tried to predict the flu

In late 2008, a team of engineers at Google post to their company blog about a correlation between search queries and CDC flu surveillance data.

Soon after, they write a journal paper and launch “Google Flu Trends” (GFT). Media outlets jump on the story:

Fast forward to February 2013, an article titled “When Google Got Flu Wrong” appears in the same publication that they had first submitted their findings to. The article points out that GFT had been predicting almost double what the CDC was reporting over the previous flu season.

Before long, Forbes, Wired Magazine,the Huffington Post and others are writing articles about how Google “failed” at predicting the…

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Last Updated : Monday, October 22, 2018