It is not a good experience for Google Maps initiatives in India. Indian law is strictly against foreign organisations collecting sensitive data about the country and is not to be blamed. Already the Street View campaign started by Google was brought to an halt by the government.
Now the Google Mapathon campaign was announced across the country, inviting people to record and change the nearby places and areas to refine the accuracy of information and to improve the map experience. An appreciable number of individuals voluntarily participated in the campaign for the attractive prizes proposed by Google.Google claims the campaign is to improve its Maps service in India.
But Indian MP Mr.Tarun Vijay is against the company collecting sensitive data of India and storing in their US based servers.He also claims that it is illegal and against the India’s defence regulations on maps.He said,
Getting every inch of India mapped by illegally inviting people to send the data for their US-based servers presents a grave danger to the security and poses a challenge to the Indian state
He says the company has violated the Indian law by organizing such campaign without any permission from the authorities.
The Mapathon activity by Google Maps is in contravention of the National Map Policy and map restriction policies issued by the defence ministry from time to time, – said Mr.Tarun Vijay
As quoted by Mr.Tarun Vijay, Surveyor General of India (SOI) alone was mandated to undertake “restricted” category survey, mapping and disseminating India’s topographic map database.He has also mentioned that such information on India’s mapping policy is available on government websites and books and ignorance of it cannot be taken an excuse.
The MP looks forward a serious action against Google by the Government of india and said,”Restrict them, invoke the relevant law to book a case against them, interrogate their CEO in India and make them surrender all data illegally stored to the Survey of India. The law must prevail, however influential such agencies might be.”
Google has also faced such problems in Israel South Africa and Japan.The MP also said,
“Google had done a great service to mapping the world over and had changed the way people used maps or located places.Still, the Indian state can’t be dwarfed by a US-based agency whose operations are not under our control. People can be involved, but with the active monitoring by the Survey of India alone so that the sensitive maps can be identified and kept out of the public domain”.