We like it when the accumulated speed data from GPS devices helps us avoid traffic incidents and school zones. As it turns out, though, there are some other uses for the same stats. Dutch news outlet AD is reporting that such data captured by TomTom navigation devices has been purchased by the country's police force and is being used to determine where speed traps and cameras should be placed. TomTom was reportedly unaware its data was being used in such a way, but if the police would only agree to sell the data on the location of its speed cameras and traps back to TomTom, why, this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Update: TomTom has issued a statement, which we have embedded after the break. To be totally clear all this data is being collected anonymously and the police have no idea exactly who is speeding, just that speeding has taken place.
Update 2: We have an English-language video from TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn embedded after the break. In it he says that the company will "prevent that type of usage" of the navigation data going forward. So, no need to turn off the 'ol GPS when you're late for work tomorrow morning.
Got A Navigator (e.g. iPhone, Android, TomTom, etc)?
Guess what? You may be helping the cops bust you - and your fellow motorists - for speeding:
Satellite navigation system maker TomTom indirectly sells details of motorists’ driving behaviour to the police for use in determining where speed traps should be placed, the AD reports on Wednesday.
Almost half the country’s police forces use this method of deciding where to put cameras and speed checks, the paper says.
This is over in the Netherlands, but would anyone care to bet whether Google and Apple, for example, sell their Satnav data?
You do realize that your pretty GPS in the car is well-aware of exactly how fast you're driving at any given point in time, right? And that this information is their data, not yours, right?
Just like driving with a video camera in your car pointing right at the speedometer along where an exact location at all times. In fact, that's exactly what you just let the cops do.
Welcome to the police state, where your "convenience" becomes their ability to hand you a $500 ticket.
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