Carriers keep a track of smartphone users’ roaming records

The roaming history of smartphone users are now being used in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.  

Chinese mobile carriers are submitting smartphone users’ roaming history records of 30 days to hospitals and regulators, the carriers said on Friday.

The roaming history offer users, companies, medical and community organizations precise data for the out-of-town trips. It is expected to help doctors and regulators to track and stem the spread of novel coronavirus pneumonia.

The new service is just used to fight against the outbreak and will not invade people’s privacy, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom have also offered free services nationwide, through applications by short messages, according to the ministry. 

China Mobile’s users can send application message to 10086 hotline and confirm the application by using the last four digits of their identity cards.

By Thursday, mobile carriers had sent over 30 billion free short messages to users for information and update of the deadly virus. China has more than 1.6 billion mobile users.