Google shut down ‘Mobile Network Insights’ service for carriers resulting from privateness considerations

According to a brand new report, for 2 years, Google apparently supplied cellular carriers entry to anonymized community information from Android telephones in a program referred to as “Mobile Network Insights.”

In a report from Reuters, by way of Android Police, Google is claimed to have been freely offering a map of cell community power and pace to carriers since March 2017. This map was constructed utilizing info collected from Android gadgets, which account for roughly 75% of smartphones, globally.

Interestingly, the information Mobile Network Insights supplied was not restricted to any explicit service and included details about varied rivals’ protection and pace, with out figuring out every firm. It’s not recognized exactly which carriers had been utilizing Google’s information.

After solely two years of existence, Google shut Mobile Network Insights down with none cause given to the carriers. Google themselves stated in an announcement that the primary cause for the shutdown was a change in “product priorities.”

We labored on a program to assist cellular companions enhance their networks via aggregated and anonymized efficiency metrics. We stay dedicated to bettering community efficiency throughout our apps and providers for customers.

According to 4 totally different sources that spoke with Reuters, the actual concern Google had was with potential privateness points associated to the service. At first blush, this concern appears considerably odd, as Android house owners wanted to decide in to giving Google the networking information within the first place, when establishing their cellphone. Beyond that, all info supplied by Mobile Network Insights was anonymized, such that it shouldn’t be traceable again to any explicit individual.

However, this type of swift response to potential privateness points has been turning into the norm because the E.U. launched their GDPR laws. Other corporations, together with Facebook and varied pace testing providers, supply comparable community comparability instruments to carriers. It must be fascinating to see whether or not or not these can also shut down within the close to future, or if Google was simply appearing in an abundance of warning to keep away from high fines and investigations.

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