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Regulations should not impact pace of innovation: Google

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The ecosystem of location-based services is still evolving globally and any regulation introduced should be balanced to ensure that the pace of is not impacted, a official today said. "The entire space around and services is a dynamic space. The ecosystem is still evolving. Some of the concerns that governments have are not specific to one country as everyone wants to protect their citizens. We work in multiple countries and abide by the law of the land," Maps Next Billion told reporters here. He added that regulations and laws need to be "balanced" to ensure that the pace of is not impacted. He was speaking on the sidelines of introduction of 'Plus Codes' - a location-based digital addressing system - to Maps to make searching for addresses easier for users in Besides, the company has added voice navigation in six Indian languages - Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam - apart from Hindi. When asked about the impact of the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill on Maps' offerings in India, Ruhela said the is promoting in many ways. "Digital vision itself talks about use of in a big way.

So I think the government clearly recognises that location service is a big enabler for implementation of schemes, delivery of .. I see this government is very progressive," he said. According to the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, one would have to take permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing any geospatial information of However, there had been criticism from various quarters, saying the provisions of the bill are stringent and may violate privacy of individuals. On Plus Codes, Ruhela said, the open-sourced solution is based on dividing the geographical surface of the Earth into tiny grids, making it easier to find a location. The code, which is in a 'six-character + City' format, can be generated, shared and searched through Maps on any smartphone, he added. "Plus Codes can be used for a wide variety of reasons including communicating the venue of a temporary event, guiding emergency services to afflicted locations, and providing an identifiable location for complicated addresses," he said. Ruhela explained that users can submit new or missing addresses through this feature and after verification, the address will be made searchable. "The process ensures that people don't include any personally identifiable information like names... Address is public information and on Maps, it will not point out who the address belongs to," Ruhela said adding this will ensure user data stays private. He explained that unlike in the US, finding a residential address in can often be challenging as they may not be very well-defined and are often hard to locate. "We are committed to making Maps more relevant for users here. The number of users here has doubled in the last two years...inspires our product vision and often we deploy our learnings from here to other markets," Ruhela said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 18:10 IST