Google Downs Operator Data Platform

Google reportedly cut off a service which showed operators’ weak coverage spots, due to concerns the platform could attract fire from users and regulators over data sharing.

According to Reuters, Google shut down its Mobile Network Insights service, which launched in March 2017, in April as it becomes increasingly concerned about the amount of attention on data privacy globally.

The platform was a free service, offered to operators and vendors to help them assess where to upgrade and expand networks.

It produced a map revealing signal strength and connectivity speeds in different areas and was compiled using data supplied by devices running its Android operating system.

Data was supplied from users that had opted into sharing location history, usage and diagnostics with Google, with the information aggregated meaning there was no link to an individual.

The service was indeed valuable, considering 75 per cent of the world’s smartphones run Android, and Reuters said operators have been left disappointed by the decision.

Aside from privacy, Google also said it was concerned that the service would face other challenges, such as ensuring data quality.

Google spokeswoman Victoria Keough confirmed the move, stating “product priorities” were behind the decision.

Lawmakers across the US and Europe have stepped up their oversight on tech companies and how they use user data, following some major missteps by the sector’s giants in recent years.

It was revealed in March 2018 that Facebook, for example, shared user data on 87 million users with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.-Mobile World Live

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