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Privacy: Is Google changing how it gathers data?

You can’t be a stealthy ninja when you’re a giant.

A developer recently noticed a change in the Google Maps domain, and if his explanation is correct, the implications could be enormous for advertisers.

Privacy: Is Google changing how it gathers data?

Please share: Apparently Google asked the developer for permission to access his location services “out of nowhere.”

That’s when he realized the search giant had changed the Maps domain from “” to “”

Why the fuss? It could be that when users give Google permission to access location data, for example, they’re no longer sharing it with Google Maps only, but with all of Google’s services.

Of course, that’s only one interpretation of many, and we don’t have official news from Google as to why this change happened.

Keep your eye on the… Maps: If it’s true that the domain change now allows Google Maps to collect user data on behalf of all Google’s services, that could mean more targeted Local Services Ads, among other things.

That could be useful to marketers as privacy regulations roll out and Google bakes cookie-less alternatives.

Time will tell, of course.