In this Digital Era Consumers are using various services depending on navigation and maps such as booking a cab, sharing a location, finding post office, bank or petrol pump. Be it for ordering food by sharing a location, geotagging friends and family members over social platform or even for safety application that required location to be shared in case of SOS alert to sent everywhere usage of map and sharing location is involved . But If the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, becomes a law, all this valuable information and service that makes our lives easier, convenient and productive could be at risk.
Today geospatial information is used in almost every sphere of life be it by a fisherman who would like to share information about tides and weather, or by trapped mountaineers, rescue teams in operations during Chennai floods Politicians are using this for sharing their location for masses for easy reach. Civil Society organizations are using for survey, organizations using information based on geography. Consumers are using for cab booking, hotel booking, food ordering etc. Teachers and student community is using for map based research. Also this bill is going to impact large numbers of startups who are running their business using geographical location be it for food ordering, cab booking or hotel services.
Our Government has been promoting and encouraging the theme of ‘Digital India’ but this proposed bill is a return to the License Raj. Consumer VOICE has asked the government to review the wide ambit of the bill and create consumer friendly Geospatial guidelines that enable the real-time utility of maps.