Google shuts down service that gave wireless carriers access to users' data: report

Google shuts down service that gave wireless carriers access to users' data: report

Google shut down a service for wireless carriers over concerns that sharing data might invite scrutiny from users and regulators, Reuters reported on Monday.

While the data was anonymous and sharing it was common, Google's parent company, Alphabet, reportedly decided to ax the program in April because of privacy fears, four people with direct knowledge of the matter told the news service.

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The move has disappointed wireless providers that depended on that data to decide when to extend or upgrade their coverage.

Google’s Mobile Network Insights service, launched in March 2017, showed carriers signal strengths and connection speeds for devices running the Android operating system. The service was free for carriers and vendors that helped them manage operations.

The system used information from users who opted to share location history and usage and diagnostics with Google.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the service or reasons for its reported cancellation.

The tech giant has become increasingly careful with its users' data since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation rules were instituted last year.

Those rules prohibit companies from sharing user data with third parties without users’ explicit consent or a legitimate business reason. 

Google in April shut down its Youtube Video Checkup service system, which allowed users in Malaysia to compare their provider’s streaming capability in a specific spot with other carriers, according to Reuters.