In 2017, Google initiated a service known as the “Mobile Network Insights”(MNI) plan, which gave mobile network providers (i.e. Verizon, Sprint, TMobile, etc) the ability to monitor Android users’ connection information. This data has been used for mobile service providers to gauge what actions they should proceed with in order to improve convenience for their users. In spite of the utilization of the function being largely beneficial for companies and consumers alike, recent events like the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica lawsuit have corporations scared of potentially overstepping the permissions of their users. With cyber security concerns on the rise across the globe, Google is concluding the operation entirely.
The primary causation for the shutdown of MNI has to do with Europes’ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Irish privacy regulators authorized a GDPR probe to scan every service and avenue of Google in a search for any violation of the rulings of the GDPR. In addition, it’s said new data privacy regulations could arrive in America very soon, following the coattails of EU’s plans.
One of the most concerning factors to Google’s abilities was when the company was caught in a scandal of tracking user location even when users manually disable location-affiliated services. Though Google made it a point in MNI to require consent from every user before they could share any information with their partnered mobile service providers, the risk of walking that tightrope and something or someone slipping up was too marginal to be worth the hassle.
This situation goes to show how seriously the masses are beginning to take cyber security, and the lengths companies will go to make sure they’re within legal confines and providing secure services for their users.