Google Maps Ads Voice-Activated Feature to Find a Friend

April 6, 2021

Google is adding another voice-activated feature, this time to Google Maps. Autoevolution reports, a bit sensationally, “Google Maps Users Can Now Become Little Stalkers with Just a Voice Command.” I would not go that far—a contact must have previously given permission for a user to locate them with the app for this to work. Still, the development can serve as a reminder to consider who one has given this permission to in the past and, perhaps, rescind it. Writer Bogdan Popa tells us:

“A quick question for Google Assistant is all you need to find out the location of one of your contacts, of course, as long as they’ve previously shared such information for you. Google now displays a short tip on Android devices where this feature has been enabled, suggesting that you can ask Google Assistant to tell you where someone currently is. ‘Where is [name of the contact]?’ is the question that you can use for this feature, so in theory, you may not even have to touch your phone to be aware of someone’s location in real time.”

Popa tells us the feature is now rolling out gradually, probably via a server-side synchronization rather than an app update. Though to some it may seem creepy to locate someone via voice command, it is really just an upgrade to a feature that was already part of Google Maps. But seriously, readers may want to review who they have given location permissions to in the past. Because Google is going to remind them. Yeah, that part might be a little creepy.

Is it possible stalkers might find the function useful? Probably not.

If you cannot access Google Maps, get your “administrator” to unblock this free Google feature. Helpful extra step, right?

Cynthia Murrell, April 06, 2021

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