Police: Google’s Waze is a ‘stalking’ app

“Sheriffs are campaigning to pressure Google Inc. to turn off a feature on its Waze traffic software that warns drivers when police are nearby,” The Associated Press reports. “They say one of the technology industry’s most popular mobile apps could put officers’ lives in danger from would-be police killers who can find where their targets are parked.”

“To Sergio Kopelev, a reserve deputy sheriff in Southern California, Waze is also a stalking app for law enforcement,” AP reports. “There are no known connections between any attack on police and Waze, but law enforcers such as Kopelev are concerned it’s only a matter of time. They are seeking support among other law enforcement trade groups to pressure Google to disable the police-reporting function. The emerging policy debate places Google again at the center of an ongoing global debate about public safety, consumer rights and privacy.”

“Waze users mark police presence on maps without much distinction other than ‘visible’ or ‘hidden,'” AP reports. “Users see a police icon, but it’s not immediately clear whether police are there for a speed trap, a sobriety check or a lunch break. The police generally are operating in public spaces. A Waze spokeswoman, Julie Mossler, said the company thinks deeply about safety and security. She said Waze works with the New York Police Department and others around the world by sharing information. Google declined to comment.”

Read more in the full article here.

29 Comments

  1. The cops just don’t like people reporting/knowing about their speed traps. This has nothing to do with “would-be cop killers” using the app to find police to kill. As if finding a police officer or parked police car without using your smartphone is difficult. This “but cop killers might use the app to find police and kill them!” is one of the most disingenuous and transparently corrupt arguments I have ever heard.

    1. I agree, incredibly disingenuous. Using a different excuse in order to hide the real reason. Ah well, someday when cars drive themselves city governments will be out of the excessive penalty priced revenue stream for traffic violations.

      1. “They say one of the technology industry’s most popular mobile apps could put officers’ lives in danger from would-be police killers who can find where their targets are parked.”

        …or you could just drive by Dunkin Doughnuts.

  2. BS.

    If I was stalking the police I don’t need a map app to show me where they are. I can just look for a police car and in five minutes find one and if so inclined, stalk it.

    What the map actually lets you do is the exact opposite….i.e. to AVOID them.

    Now if the police were to say the map app allows people to avoid them, then they have a point.

  3. Years ago in California, the Highway Patrol were not allowed to use speed guns, nor could they pull you over for a traffic violation unless they were in a black and white marked vehicle. Today that’s all changed. I see undercover unmarked Highway Patrol cars giving people tickets all the time now and of course see them hiding with speed guns is commonplace. Any branch of security in this country, be it national, state or local, will never be opposed to more, more, more. At the same time the traffic fatality rate in California is about half or lower from what it once was in years prior.

    This is of their own making.

  4. It is shocking how paranoid the police have become! Not only do they shoot unarmed civilians because they are “afraid for their lives”—now they’re imagining that police stalkers are out there monitoring their location. Ridiculous!

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