On August 19, Reuters quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that due to fears of censorship by the regulatory authorities, Google has stopped a service for mobile operators to share user data.
The service, called ‘Mobile Network Insights’, was launched in March 2017 by Google. The essence of the service is a map designed to show operators the weaknesses of their network coverage. For example, it can show the signal strength and connection speed of the carrier’s network in each area.
There is no doubt that this service is critical for mobile operators because they typically use this data when deciding where to expand or upgrade coverage. People familiar with the matter said that Google’s closure of the service made mobile operators disappointed.
Four people familiar with the matter said today that Google shut down the service in April this year, mainly because of concerns about data privacy issues, which led to investigations by regulators. Of course, other secondary aspects may include challenges in ensuring data quality.
It should be noted that this service from Google is provided free of charge to mobile operators. Moreover, the relevant data is also anonymous. But even today, when sharing has become commonplace, Google decided to close the service. Analysts believe that Google is extremely sensitive to potential data privacy issues in the current global environment where data privacy issues are of high concern.
In response, Google spokesman Victoria Keough has confirmed that changing the product’s priorities is the main reason for shutting down the service. In April of this year, Google also shut down the Video Checkup service operated by YouTube, which also involved user data issues.