Google Maps: either you share data or you will have limited functions


Google Maps: o compartes datos o tendrás funciones limitadas

Although there are tastes for everyone, the truth is that Google Maps is, today, the most popular map service of all the exist. Bing’s mapping feature is also very comprehensive, and Waze (which is also owned by Google) has its strong point in social features. There are also other payment services, such as the popular Coyote, which specialize in radar warnings … anyway, the offer is very varied but, in the end, Google’s service is the one that, in the majority, takes the cat to the water.

Also is true that part of the functions of Google Maps depend on the return of data from the users who are using the app at all times. From real-time traffic conditions to calculating the best time to travel (based on traffic estimates) are vitally dependent on drivers deciding to share information about their position with Google.

However, many users legitimately want to use Google Maps, but do not want to share information about their location and how they use the service. Of course, this is against the interests of Google and, as far as we can read in MSPowerUser, it seems that they have tired of giving without receiving anything in return and, consequently, Google Maps will limit the information it offers to users who do not share their live location.

For this change, which from what we can read is imminent in the United States, the Google Maps app is beginning to display a message informing the user of the way in which the service uses location information in real time, and how it serves to improve the quality of the service. The message, although not explicitly stated, It is a request for consent to be able to access that information. Although we have not been able to prove it, everything indicates that, if it was not previously granted, then a message from the operating system will open in which we will have to authorize Google Maps access to the location.

Those users who do not agree to share their location, they will consequently get a much more limited version of Google Maps, in which, for example, we will not be able to receive directions in real time. Instead, the only thing we will get is a static list with the route we must follow to reach our destination, according to said article. It seems that the quid pro quo it consists of real-time information in exchange for real-time information.

The change is planned for both iOS and Android and, although in principle there is talk of its deployment in the United States, most likely, Google intends to apply this change to Google Maps globally. However, it will be necessary to check how it adjusts to the legal regulations of each region. Of course, let’s remember that the company is not obliged to offer the services it currently provides, so it seems that, at this point, it has the upper hand. And, if we are honest, it makes sense to give in exchange for receiving.

Would a paid Google Maps Pro make sense in which that tracking was eliminated and other exclusive functions were offered? I think so, but at least for the moment it doesn’t seem to fit in with Google’s common business model, that is, services in exchange for data. Now, if tomorrow was considered and what they offered was interesting, and the cost was moderate, it seems to me that it would be an interesting way of monetization for the map service most used today.


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