Mapbox Telemetry

Mapbox SDKs collect anonymous data about the map and device location to continuously update and improve your maps.

Anonymous sensor data helps find missing roads, determine road speeds and traffic, and classify biking and walking transit routes in cities. This data contributes to a better map of our world for your users.

Making a better map

We use telemetry from all Mapbox SDKs to improve our map, directions, travel times, and search. We collect anonymous data about how users interact with the map to help developers build better location based applications.

Location telemetry is critical to improving the map. We use the data to discover missing roads, determine turn restrictions, build speed profiles, and improve OpenStreetMap.

New streets: Location data is used to identify new streets, hiking trails, and bike paths.
Turn restrictions: Sensor data helps us better understand turn restrictions and identify one-way streets.
Speed profiles and traffic: Understanding posted and time-sliced real-world speeds improves traffic modeling and routing.
Lane detection: High-definition mapping requires intra-road analysis of lane counts and types.

A minimal footprint

As developers we understand the constraints of resources on mobile. Our data collection has been optimized in collaboration with developers in our community and has been field tested with millions of users to make sure we can improve maps without any noticeable impact on an application's footprint.

Data dashboards for developers

Developers using the Mapbox Mobile SDKs have access to aggregated stats about their maps. These anonymous metrics give valuable insights about usage and how people interact to help developers improve the user experience of their maps.

Telemetry, not tracking: no ads or advertising data

We specifically do not record advertising identifiers (IDFA on iOS, AAID on Android), so the data cannot be employed for advertising. Any identifiers on location data are ephemeral and never associated with users.

Consumer opt-out

Users should be in charge of their own location data and when it is shared. Developers employing our Android and iOS SDKs are required by Mapbox to provide the ability for users to opt out of location telemetry reporting and must provide a location opt-out feature within the settings of any native app.

Law enforcement

We support and honor the hard work of law enforcement officials to protect citizens' safety and security, but we operate within a climate of heightened government interest in personal data.

Our stated Law Enforcement Guidelines note that we retain raw data for the shortest amount of time possible and will only disclose user content – including maps, location information or other data – in response to a probable cause search warrant. If we have a good-faith belief that there is an emergency involving the danger of death or severe physical injury, we may also provide the limited information necessary to prevent that harm, if we have it.

Protecting Users’ Location Data From An Unconstitutional Search

SSL and data security

We secure all telemetry on-device and in transit to our servers. Communication between our SDKs and servers is via SSL, where we publish the SSL certificates in our source code:

  • iOS (Digicert, GeoTrust )
  • Android (forthcoming)

This publication of our SSL certificate is called SSL pinning and is best-practice in the industry. SSL pinning is used to ensure only Mapbox receives the data produced by Mapbox clients, and prevents Mapbox clients from reporting to a hostile network operator or other third party that is attempting to intercept network traffic.

Our SDKs also check for certificate revocation. We pin to multiple Extended Validation certificates issued by authorities that support the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP). OCSP makes some attempts to intercept traffic impossible and others more difficult. (iOS natively supports certificate revocation checking.) SSL pinning and OCSP go a long way toward securing communications, but security best practices and technology are evolving quickly. We continue to iterate on our approach and are considering additional technologies such as Domain Name System Security Extensions.

Data is encrypted on our servers using Amazon's Key Management Service, which uses hardware security modules designed to be tamper-proof. We have designed this so that no one has access to the master keys – they remain within the security module and cannot be used or moved outside of it. Secondary private keys are created using our master key and are then used to encrypt the data. These keys are rotated twice daily and never stored in unencrypted form.

Access to mobile data within our infrastructure is restricted. Any change in access triggers alarms to ensure that no one gains access accidentally. Access to all of the involved infrastructure is constantly and automatically audited and reviewed by multiple members of our security team.

Telemetry

Event telemetry

Mapbox clients record data on the following events:

  • Session start: The initial use of the application
  • Map load: When a map is loaded, what map is loaded, and at what zoom level
  • Map pan: When a map is panned
  • Map zoom: When a map is zoomed
  • Map tilt & Rotate: When a map perspective is changed
  • Location: Intermittent device location and timestamp
  • Speed and heading: Just that
  • Visits: Dwell-time and location

Event attributes

Mapbox clients report the following client data with every event:

  • Session and instance identifiers: UUIDs recording the installation of the app and its specific use, including the IDFV in iOS
  • App ID: Application identifier
  • Device data: OS type, device model
  • Connectivity data: Whether the device is connected via wifi, CAT5, or cellular data
  • View data: The device orientation, screen resolution, and font scaling
  • Timestamp: the time and date of the event

The above event data is collected in batch and reported to Mapbox asynchronously.

Questions?

We believe we have a responsibility as developers to safeguard user privacy. If you have any questions please email privacy@mapbox.com and someone from our team will be in touch with you.