Google Maps Rival Caught Stealing Data With Fake Roads

As you can imagine, building an advanced maps service, as is the case with Google Maps and so many others out there, isn’t really cheap, and tech giants invest billions of dollars to scan the entire world and bring it to our smartphones and computers.
NavInfo is investing heavily in navigation apps and connected car software 1 photo
Photo: NavInfo
Chinese tech behemoth Baidu is one of them, and the company has made Baidu Maps quite a priority, as it wants the service to be available not only on the domestic market but also to expand elsewhere.

What this means is that Baidu hopes in the long term it would become a powerful rival to Google, whose Google Maps is right now the world’s number one service in this sector. Until this happens, however, the Chinese company has another thing to deal with.

Baidu has reportedly been fined by an intellectual court in China close to $10 million, all because it used the map data of another company without their consent. As it turns out, Baidu actually had a partnership with NavInfo, who supplied map data to the Chinese firm, only that the licensing contract expired.

In other words, Baidu was no longer supposed to use NavInfo’s data, but it still did it anyway, and the whole dispute was moved to court. Interestingly enough, Baidu says it didn’t actually violate NavInfo’s IP and, in its turn, decide to countersuit the company for using Baidu Maps data without authorization.

So basically, what we have here is two companies accusing each other of using map data without authorization and moving the whole thing to the court in a rather odd fight.

But NavInfo knows exactly how it can win this war, and it’s all because of some Easter Eggs that Baidu didn’t see coming. NavInfo says its maps data comes with some intentional errors, such as roads leading to nowhere, all of which have been added specifically with the purpose of catching the entities that use its data without consent.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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