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Google under CBI scanner for mapping sensitive areas

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CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Internet giant Google over Mapathon 2013, an event organised by the US company, for allegedly violating laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations, prohibited by law.

CBI registered the PE based on a complaint filed by Surveyor General of India’s office to the Union home ministry in which Google was accused of indulging in activities of mapping several areas which were not included in the maps of the country, official sources said here.

The Internet giant had not taken permission from Survey of India, country’s official mapping agency, before organising a mapping competition in February-March 2013 when they asked citizens to map their neighbourhood, especially details related to hospitals and restaurants.

Alarmed by Mapathon, the Survey of India (SoI), India’s national survey and mapping organisation under the department of science and technology, asked the Internet giant to share its details where they found that there were several coordinates having details of sensitive defence installations which are out of the public domain.

Highlighting the violations to the home ministry, the SoI said only it was mandated to undertake ‘Restricted’ category surveying and mapping, and no other government or private organisations or individual are authorised to do so.

As per the National Map Policy 2005, the responsibility for producing, maintaining and disseminating the topographic map database of the whole country, which is the foundation of all spatial data, vests with the Survey of India.

Responding to queries, Google India said, “We are in touch with relevant authorities and take national regulations and security very seriously. We are not aware of any privacy issues and have nothing more to share at this point in time.

PTI

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