Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

NYPD asks Google to scrap Waze's DUI checkpoints

Enlarge Image Click to expand and read the entire NYPD letter to Google.                  City of New York Enlarge Image Click to expand and read the entire NYPD letter to Google. City of New York
Jeannette Daniel | 10 February, 2019, 17:43

Google purchased Waze in 2013; it has remained a popular navigation app offering for drivers who benefit from the user-reported information.

In the letter NYPD asks to ax one of the features of Waze will allow the users for marking the locations of the cops on the navigation app. CBS New York and Streetsblog NYC first saw the letters. The new speed camera alerts began showing up on Google Maps last week.

Although Waze users have been doing this for years, the New York Police Department seems to have only learned about the practice recently. By warning other drivers about these checkpoints, the NYPD argues that criminals who are driving while intoxicated will purposely avoid the checkpoints, putting their lives - and the lives of others - in danger. Because of this, the department is struggling to find and stop drivers who are driving under risky conditions and is pointing the finger at Waze for "irresponsibly" aiding them.

More news: Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker Infuriates House Dems at Hearing

The activity is also helping drunk drivers avoid detection and capture, the NYPD asserts, making the roads more unsafe to the drivers, their passengers, and the general public. That's all well and good but apparently, the app can also find and report DWI police checkpoints. The department has sent a cease and desist letter to Google, who owns Waze, demanding that it remove alerts for DWI checkpoints.

The NYPD sent a cease and desist letter to Google over the weekend.

"If you are impaired, you are not going to pay attention to that information", she said, adding that in her experience, drunken drivers coming through sobriety checkpoints were often very confused or unaware of what was happening. Mr Thompson said the app was also problematic for reasons other than possibly aiding drunken drivers. It lets people report accidents, traffic jams, and speed and police traps, while its online map editor gives drivers updates on roads, landmarks, house numbers, and the cheapest nearby fuel. The app has long tracked this kind of information. In 2015, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck criticized the application and claimed that its existence could jeopardize the safety of police officers as it is "not always in the public's interest to know where police are operating".

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