The question in particular is about a violation of Google Maps API privacy policy. It was originally asked on Stack Overflow, but it was off topic, so after some advice, I looked into Law StackExchange. Unfortunately this question is still off topic, even for Law StackExchange, as being too specific. There is no link of the question as it was deleted, but the original question is this:

--- Original question start ---

I created an application, which contains a Google map. The API used by the application is based on https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/android-api/intro instructions which means is uses the v2 API.

During runtime the app receives (driving) Google Maps Directions.

Afterwards the application draws the path on the map by coloring the routes and uses the Android text-to-speech library to read the instructions, while refreshing the user's location on the already displayed 2D Google map. The app does not create or use a "3D map" with arrows and stuff like Google Maps app or other turn-by-turn apps.

Is this still violation of the privacy terms, here?

The term in question:

(i) real time navigation or route guidance, including but not limited to turn-by-turn route guidance that is synchronized to the position of a user's sensor-enabled device.

--- Original question end ---

For some clarity, there are 2 options that could to violate the policy: 1. Reading the Directions with text-to-speech technology (and perhaps showing the user location moving on the map) 2. Simply drawing the route on the map and skipping the turn by turn instructions entirely instead of (1).

Can this question be rephrased to be Law Exchange on topic? Optionally: Would a general answer help achieve what I state below?

What I want to achieve

I want to be able to understand if the policy contradicts with my design and if the only way to do this is to hire some lawyer or figure it out by myself. Is it really THAT hard to interprete the policy by myself or am I unequipped or perhaps too dumb to do so?

  • Hmmm... I find it hard to believe that a question would've been closed as being "too specific." Where did you get that from? Do you happen to have the reason as to why it was actually closed? If someone actually did try to close something as too specific, I will... oh I don't even want to think about what I'll do
    – Zizouz212
    Mar 30, 2016 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


Based on what you say here, it looks like you're trying to create an app that allows a user to get from A to B, saying what to do and mapping the route, and that it's based on where they are at the moment. If that is not what you're doing, then I don't see how anybody besides an Android / Google app developer could understand the question. Assuming that I've gotten the technical content right, it seems pretty obvious that you would be violating parts of 10.4 Restrictions on Unfair Exploitation of the Service and Content, by using the service and content in connection with real-time navigation or route guidance. Google provides a service that does what you are apparently trying to do, and their TOS makes it pretty clear that you can't use their resources to build a competing mousetrap. If that's not the case, then you'd be relying on technical distinctions that are legally unfathomable.

You're essentially asking a question that courts in principle could not have a position on, where it would be left to the jury to decide which expert testimony to believe.

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