Nature Examines How Humanitarians, Researchers Using Cell Phone Call Data To Improve Lives

Nature: Can tracking people through phone-call data improve lives?
“…Telecommunications companies scrutinize call-detail records to learn about customers’ locations and phone habits and improve their services. Researchers suddenly realized that this sort of information might help them to improve lives. … [S]cientists working under the rubric of ‘data for good’ have analyzed calls from tens of millions of phone owners in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, and at least two dozen other low- and middle-income nations. Humanitarian groups say that they’ve used the results to deliver aid. And researchers have combined call records with other information to try to predict how infectious diseases travel, and to pinpoint locations of poverty, social isolation, violence, and more…” (Maxmen, 5/29).