A mafia boss was arrested in Spain in December after 20 years on the wanted list after Italian anti-mafia cops used Google Street View to confirm their ‘traditional methods’ which led to information that he was running a hairdressing salon, a restaurant and a grocery shop in Galapagar, Spain. To his “How did you find me? It’s been ten years since I even called my family on the phone.” “We saw you on Google Maps”, was the reply.
Cherbourg (Manche), August 2020
Uzès (Gard), February 2021
In the Alpes-Maritimes, France, Google used to spot “anomalies”
France Bleu, 23 August 2021 (excerpt)
In the Alpes-Maritimes departmental tax department, there is a new tax super-controller. And its name is … Google. … This is all part of a contract with Capgemini, which subcontracts certain missions to the American company. According to Bercy, the Alpes-Maritimes, Charente-Maritime and Drôme were the first three departments to use this system.
In concrete terms, it is an artificial intelligence programme based on the development of an algorithm that detects garden sheds, extensions, verandas and swimming pools using aerial images from the IGN.
Google Maps publishes data from 131 countries, including France, to show the effects of containment
Le Monde, 3 April 2020 (extract)
Anonymised data, derived from the geolocation of Google Maps users from Android and iPhone phones, are being published by Google from Friday 3 April, to “help authorities understand how social distancing measures such as telecommuting or confinement can help smooth the curve of the coronavirus epidemic”, the American company announced. The data displayed shows, among other things, the extent to which the use of certain places (shops, tourist sites, etc.) has changed in recent weeks.
The feature is not technically new: Google Maps has been using it for years to show its users the times of busy shops or the formation of a traffic jam, for example. But they were not available in a consolidated way for a country or a region, which is now the case: “We will display trends over several weeks, with the most recent information from forty-eight to seventy-two hours. We will show an increase or decrease in the percentage of visits, but we will not share the absolute number of visits.
The search engine says it was approached by “public health officials” who wanted access to the data, particularly to measure the effects of – and compliance with – the containment measures that now affect three billion people.