April 23, 2019

NYPD demands Google stop revealing DUI checkpoints on Maps and Waze

10 February 2019, 05:39 | Devin Moran

Apps & Software

Waze DWI Checkpoints

The posting of such data for public consumption is irresponsible because it exclusively serves to assist impaired and intoxicated drivers in evading checkpoints and encouraging reckless driving. "Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk", Prunty adds in the letter, which was first reported by StreetsBlog NYC. According to the NYPD, the citizens who post DWI location might be a part of criminal organizations. If users have access to the posted speed limit within their navigation app, their phone becomes more useful and less of a distraction - which might otherwise prevent the driver from seeing a change in speed limit. Nevertheless, the letters by cops mostly focused on the ability which allows the users to give heads-up regarding sobriety checkpoints.

Google has previously faced pressure over Waze's police-location reports.

Waze, a mapping application that relies on detailed crowdsourced driving conditions, was by Google for around $1 billion in 2013. She added: "The goal is to make everyone aware that if you drink, don't drive, and if you drive, don't drink".

Neither Google or Waze has released a statement on this matter.

The New York City Police Department has asked Google to disable a feature in its popular Waze app that alerts drivers of DWI checkpoints and other police activity.

As noted by The Verge, Apple banned some DUI avoidance apps back in 2011 following pressure from senators, and it now only allows applications that show location information "published by law enforcement agencies".

The Google-owned firm launched its carpool app in August 2016 as a pilot project in Tel Aviv and is now set to bring the service to several USA cities and Latin American over the next few months.

The NYPD letter adds that they will not hesitate to pursue further legal action if Waze continues to provide what it characterizes as "irresponsible and unsafe information".

The letter was sent following Google's launch of a new feature on its Google Maps app, alerting drivers to the location of police speed cameras.

The cease-and-desist letter may also pertain to the app's new "speed cam" function, which lets drivers notify others about speed and red-light cameras.

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