Are Apple and Google’s New Mapping A Security THREAT?

As Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) try to prove to consumers that each has a better mapping application than the other, their means to do so are being questioned by some. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is reportedly unhappy with the way the two companies have collected geographic data and how they plan to use it.

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The Senator wrote a letter to the chief executives of both companies, expressing his concerns that the information gathered by their highly sensitive imaging equipment could lead to inadvertent privacy breaches. The Senator said he was worried about the high resolution and detail the new technologies offer, according to Apple Insider.

“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,” the Senator wrote. “It raises important privacy questions and individuals have a right to know when their homes and communities are being mapped – and whether highly detailed images of them and their homes will wind up published online.”

Mapping company C3 Technologies, which was acquired by Apple in order to help with the development of its mapping software, used to be part of Saab AB’s defense arm and is known to use once-classified military targeting technology to create its interactive maps. Google said it used digital overlays of photographic models taken from planes the company owns to create its new maps, and Apple’s Flyover feature uses a fairly similar process.

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