Contracts obtained by The Epoch Times reveal that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purchased cellphone location data from tracking companies to monitor compliance with COVID-19 lockdowns.
The CDC paid one firm $420,000 and another $208,000 for access to data from at least 55 million cellphone users.
The contracts were approved under emergency review due to the pandemic and were aimed at providing the CDC with the “necessary data to continue critical emergency response functions related to evaluating the impact of visits to key points of interest, stay at home orders, closures, re-openings and other public heath communications related to mask mandate, and other merging research areas on community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”
The tracking data will be used by the CDC to “assess home-by-hour behaviors (i.e. curfew analysis) by exploring the percentage of mobile devices at home during [a] specific period of time.”
The data can also be integrated with other information “to provide a comprehensive picture of movement/travel of persons during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand mandatory stay-at-home orders, business closure, school re-openings, and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in states and cities.”
The CDC plans to use the data to examine the impact of state restrictions on close contact between people outside of their homes and to monitor adherence to mandated or recommended quarantines after arrival from another state, according to The Epoch Times.
The data could also be used to analyze the correlation between mobility patterns and spikes in COVID-19 cases at facilities such as churches, concerts, and grocery stores.
It would also enable the examination of movement restrictions such as curfews to show “patterns” and “compliance.”
The contracts, which run 71 pages together, were signed in 2021, the same year that new medical codes for COVID-19 vaccination status were approved.