Google is asking Google Maps users to explicitly opt in to having their location data used to improve the Google Maps service, including to establish real-time traffic conditions and detect disruptions.
The consent request is being offered via a pop-up in the app and can be seen below:
How navigation data makes Maps better Google uses your and other people’s navigation data to improve Maps for everyone.
As you navigate, Google collects details, such as GPS location and the route you took. This data may be used to make information, including real-time traffic conditions and disruptions, visible to others and help them find the fastest route.
These updates to the map won’t be associated with your Google Account or device.
Notably however if you do not consent by pressing Start your navigation is limited to a static list of directions, similar to mapping apps in 2001.
Additionally, users are not told in the pop-up that it is a consent request, and the consequence of refusing is not explained.
The consent request is expected to start rolling out on Monday on both iOS and Android.