The global network carrier service from Google called “Mobile Network Insights” is no more. This is according to a report from Reuters where Google spokeswoman Victoria Keough confirmed the move. Exact reasoning has not been shared – but anonymous sources suggest that the program was closed in April “due to concerns about data privacy.”
Information shared this morning points toward four anonymous sources with “direct knowledge of the matter.” Keough provided comment there, suggesting that Google remains “committed to improving network performance across our apps and services for users.”
Google also released their Google Maps AR mode in testing mode in February (around a month before the end of this Mobile Network Insights program was apparently closed). Google Maps AR mode utilizes GPS location and augmented reality to assist with personal walking directions on Android phones. If you’ve not gotten access yet, have a peek at the Live View update from earlier this month – you should have the update very, very soon, if you don’t have it in Google Maps already.
UPDATE: It should be made clear that Google hasn’t stopped collecting all data from users. Some data, when collected completely anonymously, can serve to improve the overall quality of the program and/or the network involved in the technology. This was the original aim of the Google Mobile Network Insights service, after all. This is only a notification that Google appears to be adjusting priorities.
This news appears not long after privacy concerns arose with recent human “grading” news for personal assistants. Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant announcements suggested that voice recordings made by personal assistants would no longer be heard by human ears – for the most part. Amazon made no such announcement.
If you’d like to know more about the sort of information you’ve already shared with Google – and Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and etcetera – have a peek at the recent update to the f-secure data discovery portal and give it a click.