Google India’s recently concluded “Mapathon” contest has attracted quite a lot of negative criticism from the Indian Police who says that it is investigating the mapping data and the contest conducted by Google that might expose sensitive and restricted data. Indian police claim that Google violated rules in a competition that asked users to add information about their local areas for its online map services after a government agency raised security concerns.
Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police, New Delhi, said that a complaint has been received from Survey of India which has been forwarded to the cybercell for further action. Survey of India is India;s national survey and mapping agency.
Google invited its users to add and edit its maps data by sharing neighbourhood information that users are well aware of and in return Google is offering 1,000 winners with Tablets, Smartphones and other gifts. Survey of India claims that it has written to Google that the “Mapathon” contest is flouting its rules and then only did they file a complaint against Google with the Delhi police. On the other hand Google officials said that the company has not received an official communication from the Delhi police yet.
Google’s spokeswomen Paroma Roy Chowdhury said that Google has not compromised security in any way and they have ensured about it. Google is also open to discussing specific concerns over the issue with Indian Authorities and said that “Google takes security and national regulations very seriously, and the Mapathon adhered to applicable laws.”
Google has been facing a series of setbacks in improving its mapping technologies in India. Back in 2011, a few weeks after Google started collecting Street View data, it was ordered by the Bangalore police to stop collecting the data over security concerns. India’s opposition party’s law maker, Tarun Vijay, has tweeted “Will we allow any Indian organization to invite people for mapping their localities and have entire data stored in USA? Special to Google?,” raising his concern over Google’s data collection policies.