Both Apple and Google now have pretty impressive mapping technologies of their own which are used on their mobile devices. Apple for instance uses C3 Technologies which they bought over and was once part of Saab AB’s defense arm and uses once-classified military technology. While this yielded some impressive 3D renderings of locations, it seems that not everyone is taken by Apple’s new mapping system. US Senator Charles Schumer wrote a letter to both Apple and Google’s CEO to express his concern over the technology that they are using, saying that the information gathered could lead to a possible breach of privacy and even aid in criminal activities.
“Barbequing or sunbathing in your backyard shouldn’t be a public event. People should be free from the worry of some high-tech peeping Tom technology violating one’s privacy when in your own home [...] High resolution 3D mapping may have some very useful and practical applications, but the technology that is reported to be used by these companies brings a level of precision that has never before been utilized for public purposes. It raises important privacy questions and individuals have a right to know when their homes and communities are being mapped – and whether highly detailed images of them and their homes will wind up published online. By using powerful cameras that can see through your windows and display details of sensitive security sites, Apple and Google will have access to private and sensitive images. It’s imperative that these companies disclose their plans for protecting privacy of both individuals and sensitive infrastructure, their publication intentions, and their plans for including public consent in the mapping process.”
What do you guys think? Sure both Google and Apple’s maps will now be able to generate some pretty realistic 3D renderings of locations, but if it came at the cost of your privacy, would you be as willing to embrace it? This is not the first time that Apple and Google are being scrutinized over privacy concerns as back in 2011, there was some issues regarding the collection of location data and how the information was used. Both Apple and Google have yet to respond so we will be keeping our eyes and ears peeled for more updates.