Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

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Re: Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby hebermc » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:03 pm

In France Waze adapted the system to alert to a "infraction zone", they could do the same in the US, that way you don't see on the map where the police is.
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Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby JosZomerplaag » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:17 pm

At the moment there is a media storm about Waze in the USA. ... .html?_r=0 ... 55401.html ... story.html ... p-disabled ... eed/788149

And the unavoidable Reddit discussion about it: ... _app_waze/

This may lead to a lot of new Waze users, I guess.

WASHINGTON — Law enforcement is concerned that the popular Waze mobile traffic app by Google Inc., which provides real-time road conditions, can also be used to hunt and harm police.

Waze is a combination of GPS navigation and social networking. Fifty million users in 200 countries turn to the free service for warnings about nearby congestion, car accidents, speed traps, traffic cameras, construction zones, potholes, stalled vehicles or unsafe weather conditions.

Waze users mark police — who are generally working in public spaces — on maps without much distinction other than "visible" or "hidden." 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.

To some in law enforcement, this feature amounts to a stalking app for people who want to harm police. They want Google to disable that feature.

The growing concern is the latest twist in Google's complicated relationship with government and law enforcement. It places the Internet giant, again, at the center of an ongoing global debate about public safety, consumer rights and privacy.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck complained in a letter to Google's chief executive on Dec. 30 that Waze could be "misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community."

The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately respond to questions about whether Google addressed Beck's concerns.

Google purchased Waze for $966 million in 2013.

There are no known connections between any attack on police and Waze, although Beck said Waze was used in the killing of two New York Police Department officers on Dec. 20. The Instagram account of the gunman in that case included a screenshot from Waze along with other messages threatening police.

Investigators do not believe the shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, used Waze to ambush the NYPD officers, in part because police say Brinsley tossed his cellphone more than two miles from where he shot the officers. In his letter to Google, Beck said that Brinsley had been using the Waze app to track police since early December.

"I am confident your company did not intend the Waze app to be a means to allow those who wish to commit crimes to use the unwitting Waze community as their lookouts for the location of police officers," Beck wrote.

Some officers, like Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia, think it's only a matter of time before Waze is used to hunt and harm police.

"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 this feature from the application even before any litigation or statutory action," said Brown, who raised the issue at a National Sheriffs' Association meeting in Washington January 23.

Google declined to comment and directed questions to a Waze spokeswoman, Julie Mossler, who 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.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
"These relationships keep citizens safe, promote faster emergency response and help alleviate traffic congestion," Mossler said.

The NYPD did not respond to questions about Waze.

Google has a complicated relationship with government and law enforcement. The company worked closely with the Obama administration to defend itself against hacking by China's government, and it is regularly compelled to turn over to police worldwide copies of emails or other information about its customers. Last year, after disclosures that the National Security Agency had illicitly broken into Google's overseas Internet communication lines, Google and other technology companies rolled out encryption for consumers, which the U.S. government said could hamper law enforcement investigations. Also last year, Google and other companies sued the U.S. to allow them to more fully disclose to customers details about how much information they were required to hand over each year.

Nuala O'Connor, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington civil liberties group, said it would not be appropriate for Google to disable the police-reporting feature.

"I do not think it is legitimate to ask a person-to-person communication to cease simply because it reports on publicly visible law enforcement," she said.

O'Connor said a bigger concern among privacy advocates is how much information about customers Waze shares with law enforcement, since the service necessarily monitors their location continually as long as it's turned on.

This is not the first time law enforcement has raised concerns with these types of apps. In 2011, four U.S. senators asked Apple to remove all applications that alert users to drunken driving checkpoints. Apple's current guidelines for developers state that the company will not accept apps with information about drunken driving checkpoints unless the checkpoints are published by law enforcement agencies, an Apple spokeswoman said.
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Re: Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby LarryStroupHappy » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:13 am

If Waze removes this feature, then they are just another nav app, and not the best one out there. Without this feature I will no longer be using Waze.
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Re: Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby MGODLEW » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:11 pm ... pp-feature or ... story.html

So heres my thoughts on this and what waze can do to keep the feature but yet help improve "officer safety." As a police officer myself, with the growing number of attacks on police these days, the concerns by law enforcement are legitimate, however I think a compromise can be reached per say to make everyone happy. If Waze is forced to make a change, My solution, keep police reporting functionality exactly the same along with alerting for them, however just remove the icon for them on the map. That way people can't just "scan the map" to find police sitting somewhere and will only receive an alert if they are driving on a road where police have been reported. That way, us wazers still get what we want, and the police get what they want.

Related threads:
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Police sheriffs vs Waze

Police against waze news story

Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Police vs Waze
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Re: Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby Stinger22 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:08 pm

See my thread on how we petition Google to leave the police nodes in.
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Re: Sheriffs Want Waze Feature Disabled

Postby YeagzF1 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:17 pm

The only reason why cops dislike Waze is because it makes it harder for me them to hit their quotas. They exist no matter how much police say they don't. Bottom line? Go catch a real criminal instead of trying to get people commuting to work. Worried about police safety? All you have to do is respect the community you work in. And if you demand respect without earning it and some one uses waze to hurt you on the job. Well that's what you get for not doing your job correctly.
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