Elpis — Internet Traffic and Compliance with Public Health Measures

Within the US and across the globe, a growing number of people are being placed under official lockdowns or stay-at-home policies as coronavirus cases and fatalities mount. While public health measures such as quarantine, stay-at-home and shelter-at-home are considered the most effective to limit the spread of infectious diseases, their use has always been controversial given the political, ethical and socioeconomic issues they raise. Part of the challenge arises from the no-obvious link between the level of compliance with such measures and their effectiveness.

This research project is motivated by a simple observation – as people comply with stay-at-home measures, one would expect to see a significant change in network traffic on off-peak hours as parents and children work remotely. This project explores the potential for using such changes as a privacy-preserving proxy of citizen compliance with stay-at-home-like measures, with the long-term goal of providing public health authorities with the basis for an evidence-based analysis of their effectiveness.


Elpis (ἐλπίς)

In Greek mythology, Elpis is the personification and spirit of hope, and the last item in Pandora’s box.