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Police Want Waze to Remove its Cop-Tracking Feature

by Jacob Kleinman | January 27, 2015January 27, 2015 7:00 am PDT

waze police

Waze is one of the best driving apps around, but one feature has law enforcement officials up in arms over the Google-owned mapping service. The Associated Press reports that a police-tracking feature included in the app could potentially put cops at risk.

Google bought Waze in 2013 for nearly $1 billion, and quickly integrated the app’s crowd-sourced traffic data into its own Google Maps. The original app still offers a richer experience, with individual users reporting traffic jams, accidents, gas prices and hazards. The police-tracking feature could potentially help drivers avoid speed traps and checkpoints, but it may also leave cops vulnerable to would-be-killers.

“I can think of 100 ways that it could present an officer-safety issue,” Fraternal Order of Police executive director Jim Pasco told AP. “There’s no control over who uses it. So, if you’re a criminal and you want to rob a bank, hypothetically, you use your Waze.”

It’s unclear if Google will cave to these concerns. Cutting the feature might annoy some die-hard users, but it probably won’t have much of an impact on Waze in the long run. Then again, giving in to demands like this could be a slippery slope. If Google gives in it might not be too long before gas stations are complaining about the gas price-tracking feature as well.

AP

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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