The NYPD sent Google, which owns the crowdsourced GPS navigation system (Waze App), a cease and desist letter warning that posting the locations of officers and DWI checkpoints may be considered “criminal conduct.”
Waze is a navigation app that uses both mapping technology and crowdsourcing to provide drivers with the fastest and easiest routes from point A to B. The app, which hosts 100 million users worldwide, allows drivers to report activity that could influence other drivers’ decisions such as current traffic, road hazards and, among the most controversial, police presence.
The police-tracking feature, which was one reason for the spur in Waze’s popularity, notifies drivers of any nearby law enforcement vehicles and patrol activity, such as speed traps and sobriety checkpoints, allowing drivers time to find alternative routes and potentially avoid these routine precautions.
Are there legal issues associated with this feature? Some law enforcement officials think so, claiming the feature could potentially cause harm to both drivers and officers.