Charles E. Schumer Upset With Apple, Google’s Mapping Tech

Posted by at 12:30 pm on June 19, 2012

Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) recently sent letters to Google CEO Larry Page and Apple chief Tim Cook decrying usage of “military-grade spy planes” used to generate the 3D images for new map applications for both companies. Concerns range from invasion of privacy all the way up to assisting terrorism in providing details of infrastructure and sensitive government facilities. Neither Apple nor Google have publicly responded to the senator’s call to action so far.

Schumer says that “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. ” Schumer is concerned that a technological race between the two internet behemoths could have the ultimate cost of erosion of basic privacy, and elevating security risks.

Apple and Google have been called upon to provide four concessions: notify communities when the mapping is taking place, automatically blur identities of people who are pictured, give property owners the right to opt-out of mapping, and put protocols in place with law enforcement to guarantee that sensitive information will be blurred on published maps.

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