Apple Maps to bring on-the-ground data collection to parts of Canada this summer

Apple Canada announced Monday that its specialized data-collection vehicles will be starting surveying the country beginning this summer.

The press releases cites Apple’s notice in local newspapers informing the Canadians about the scope of the effort and ensuring them that their privacy won’t be breached.

Beginning in May, Apple Maps will be driving across Canada throughout the summer. We’ll be capturing road details, signage and landmarks — all to make the most accurate and useful Maps experience possible. The information collected will be worked on by our teams in Cupertino, California.

Apple plans to publish this data in a future Maps update.

If similar efforts conducted in the US and elsewhere are an indication, this first-party data will be used to enhance details like landmarks, signage, vegetation, road details and more.

For more information, visit the Apple Maps Image Collection website.

The vehicles will be surveying the following regions from May to November 2019:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

The press release includes this passage.

We always have your privacy in mind, so we’re working closely with local regulators to ensure we follow all laws and regulations. All of our vehicles are marked Apple Maps, so you’ll always know it’s us. Privacy is a fundamental Apple principle, so we’re proud to build it into everything we do.

“Privacy is a fundamental Apple principle, so we’re proud to build it into everything we do” is yet another way of saying that Apple protects user privacy like no other technology company. Earlier this morning, a British newspaper brought a deep dive into the sheer scope of Apple’s privacy-preserving efforts that start at the silicon level.

“I can tell you that privacy considerations are at the beginning of the process, not the end,” it quotes software boss Craig Federighi as saying. “When we talk about building the product, among the first questions that come out is: how are we going to manage this customer data?”