Googles Waze Feature Is Police Stalker
- Monday, January 26th, 2015
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Sheriffs in American are campaigning to close down Googles Waze traffic software that enables drivers to share the location of police-manned speed traps, claiming that it could place officers lives in danger.
Waze, which was purchased by Google in 2013 for $966m (£642m), uses a combination of GPS navigation and social networking to provide real-time traffic guidance, with 50m users in 200 countries providing updates regarding congestion, car accidents, potholes, construction or other road hazards.
Included in Wazes features is the option to mark police presence on maps, noting whether they are visible or hidden. Users can see a police icon, but there are no other details beyond how visible a presence officers are, or whether they are performing speed checks, attending an incident or simply eating lunch.
According to The Guardian, Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in southern California, is concerned the app could be used to stalk law enforcement. While there are no known connections between an attack on the police and the use of Waze, officers like Kopelev are concerned it is only a matter of time.
“The police community needs to coordinate an effort to have the owner, Google, act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove his feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action,” said Sheriff Mike Brown, chairman of the National Sheriffs Association technology committee, who branded the app a police stalker.
Google has declined to comment on the accusations, but a Waze spokesperson said the company thinks deeply about safety and security, and works with the New York police department and others around the world by sharing information to promote faster emergency response and alleviate traffic congestion.