The companies are racing to produce aerial maps so detailed they can show up objects just four inches wide.
Google admits it has already sent planes over cities while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, The Daily Mail reports.
According to the paper, Apple's military-grade cameras are believed to be so powerful they could potentially see into homes through skylights and windows.
The technology is similar to that used by intelligence agencies in identifying terrorist targets inAfghanistan.
Google will use its spy planes to help create 3D maps with much more detail than its satellite-derived Google Earth images.
Meanwhile, the move has outraged campaigners, who say the technology is a sinister development that brings the surveillance society a step closer.
The paper quoted Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, as saying that privacy is at a risk of being sacrificed in a commercial 'race to the bottom'.
"The next generation of maps is taking us over the garden fence," Pickles said.
"You won't be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures," he added.