Google has shut down a service it provided to wireless carriers globally that showed them weak spots in their network coverage, according to Reuters.
Google’s Mobile Network Insights service, which had launched in March 2017, was showing carriers signal strengths and connection speeds they were delivering in each area.
The service was provided free to carriers and vendors that helped them manage operations. The data came from devices running Google’s Android operating system, which is on about 75% of the world’s smartphones, making it a valuable resource for the industry.
It used data only from users who had opted into sharing location history and usage and diagnostics with Google. The data were aggregated was related to a carrier’s own service and that of competitors, which were not identified by name.
Google’s concerns that sharing data from users of its Android phone system might attract the scrutiny of users and regulators.
Wireless carriers used the data as part of their decision-making process on where to extend or upgrade their coverage.
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, introduced last year, prohibits companies sharing user data with third parties without users’ explicit consent or a legitimate business reason.
Facebook offers a similar service with Google's, called Actionable Insights.