Google maps uses anonymous cell phone data to give its live traffic feeds.

Google maps uses anonymous cell phone data to give its live traffic feeds.

If you’ve ever used the mobile Google Maps application to navigate your way through an unfamiliar place, then you’ve probably also unknowingly returned Google the favour. When you choose to enable Google Maps with My Location, your phone sends anonymous pieces of data describing how fast you’re moving, back to Google. 

A collection of different people’s speeds from across thousands of phones moving through city at a given times, gives a pretty accurate picture of live traffic conditions. Google Mobile’s privacy policy includes an entire list of private information that Google is allowed to gather; your phone number, your carrier, basic usage stats about your device, etc. Google claims that it uses this information to create practical solutions and create a better user experience. 

(Source)

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