It seems Google India got more negative publicity than positive with its Indian Mapathon 2013. Now Indian investigation agency, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against Google India over Mapathon 2013. CBI accuses the internet giant on violating laws by mapping sensitive areas and defence installations that been prohibited by law.
According to ET – 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 had been indulging in activities of mapping several areas which were not included in the maps of the country, official sources said here. The search giant had not taken permission from Survey of India before organising a mapping competition in February-March 2013 when they asked Indian people to map their neighbourhoods, including details related to hospitals and restaurants.
The Google India Mapathon 2013 mapping competition which started on February 12, 2013 and ended on March 25, 2013 has participants from all over India, who created better maps for India, by adding knowledge of their neighborhoods through Google Map Maker. Winners will get lot’s of prizes including Android tablets, smartphones, gift vouchers and Google merchandise to be won by top 1000 mappers.
The competition got into trouble when Google faced critical scrutiny from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on violating Indian defence regulations on mapping. In wake of this Survey Of India (SOI) a government body responsible for carrying out surveying and mapping in the country expressed security concerns over the data being added during the Mapathon contest and demanded to review the data to make sure that it is safe to publish without revealing information that it considers sensitive. Google obliged to the demand and provided all the data to SOI, but just like every government department they took their own time which forced Google to hold the results for Mapathon 2013.
Only on December 2013, Google India announced the winners of its India Mapathon 2013 competition, that after immense scrutiny from Indian Government officials.