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Forbes names former Florida COVID-19 data curator Rebekah Jones its 'Technology Person of The Year'

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Posted at 12:41 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 15:45:53-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Forbes named geographer and former Florida COVID-19 data curator Rebekah Jones its “Technology Person of the Year.”

Jones, the data curator who was fired for unauthorized public comments about Florida’s coronavirus numbers in May, created her own dashboard to track coronavirus numbers.

She later launched a national dashboard to track school-related cases.

Jones said she was fired for being too transparent regarding COVID-19 numbers and refusing to manipulate data.

On Dec. 7, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents served Jones a search warrant on her home. According to the FDLE affidavit, the state’s public health department sent a notice to FDLE as part of an investigation over unauthorized access to a state messaging system.

In a lawsuit against FDLE on Dec. 21, Jones' attorneys claimed FDLE obtained the search warrant "in bad faith and with no legitimate object or purpose."

“Regardless, she is the latest technologist who stepped up to fill the vacuum left by governments during COVID-19,” the article on Forbes’ website reads.

She is the first-ever recipient of the magazine’s "Technology Person of the Year" distinction.

This story was first published by WTXL Staff in Tallahassee, Florida.