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Google Maps and the GDPR – How to be compliant

What is Google Maps?

Google Maps is a maps visualization service that offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, etc. provided by Google LLC or by Google Ireland Limited that allows your website/app to incorporate content of this kind on its pages.

Do I need a Privacy Policy if I use Google Maps on my website or app?

Yes, you do.

Users of Google Maps are bound by Google Maps Platform Terms of Service; if you are using a Google Maps embedded on your site, it may track user behavior on your website and therefore you have to inform users of this.

If you are using a Maps API Implementation for use by other users, you are subject to Google Maps APIs Terms of Service; even in this case you must make publicly available an appropriate privacy policy in your Maps API Implementation.

  • If you or your users are based in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland consider to add Google Ireland Limited as a service provider when requested in the iubenda generator
  • If you or your users are based outside of the EEA, then simply add Google LLC as the service provider.

If both of the above apply, you should add both service providers.

Do I need a Cookie Policy if I use Google Maps on my website or app?

Whether you are required or not to display the service into your cookie policy depends on many factors, among which the Maps API/implementation you are using.

Within the Google Maps APIs Terms of Service in fact, Google states that “certain Maps API(s) store and access cookies and other information on end users’ devices”.

Maps SDK for Android and Maps SDK for iOS, as well as Google Maps Embed API use cookies.

Cookies are set also when you use, instead of the API, an automatic iframe generator to embed a map into your webpage.

So in this case, yes you do.

On the other hand, Maps Javascript API v3 (when loaded from maps.googleapis.com) according to Google’s official announcementdoes not rely on the exchange of cookies with Google.”

However, keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily exclude the use of any trackers or any other technology that enables the tracking of users on your website, but only of cookies. End-user’s data (e.g. IP address) might still be accessed or stored, and it might still be possible for Google to track end-users via the user’s browser fingerprint cross-referenced with other Google services they use. Even if they are not strictly speaking cookies, you have to inform users of the use of any trackers and obtain consent to use them.

In the end, it may be best to play it safe also in this case and add it to your Cookie Policy.

Not sure if your website is installing cookies?
Check out our guide to identify the cookies your site installs in browsers.

→ How to generate a Cookie Policy in 10 seconds

Do I need a Cookie Banner if I use Google Maps on my website?

In general, websites that use third-party cookies as well as their own cookies for tracking and analytics must comply with the law and to do so are required to obtain the user’s express consent.

If you operate in the EU or could potentially have EU users, you need to comply with the Cookie Law.

Our Cookie Solution complies with provisions of the Cookie Law; it allows you to easily inform users, facilitate their consent and includes the option to preemptively block any scripts that could install cookies prior to consent (required in many EU countries).

→ Discover iubenda Cookie Solution
Quickly generate a fully customizable cookie banner, seamlessly collect consent, and implement prior blocking with asynchronous re-activation.

How to Create a GDPR Privacy Policy for Google Maps

With iubenda, you can easily declare which services your website uses to collect data. You can find “Google Maps widget” in the “Displaying content from external platforms” section of our Privacy and Cookie Policy Generator. Once selected, you’ll be requested to specify which data you collect.

Not sure what services to select and add to your privacy policy?
Scan your website using the Site Scanner feature of iubenda and get a list of all services used on your website right away.

Trusted by 90.000 clients, iubenda is the easiest and most professional way to generate and manage privacy & cookie policies and terms & conditions, to store and manage user consent, and to comply with the ePrivacy (Cookie Law), the GDPR and the CCPA.