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Police Want to Stop Google's Waze

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Waze has become the next-generation police scanner, and the cops definitely don't like it.

The Google app allows users to post locations of police checkpoints. The mobile app also forewarns drivers of speed traps and red light cameras.

New York City police have a big problem with it. They want Google to take it down or else. Like, they'll give Google a ticket?

Encourages Reckless Driving?

In a letter, NYPD's representative told Google the app encourages "reckless driving." The acting deputy commissioner said the posts help impaired and intoxicated drivers evade checkpoints.

So it encourages them to ... get off the road? That's not exactly what Google said, but here's the company's point: "informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they're on the road."

The police department has threatened legal action, but it wouldn't be a fair fight. Google's budget is like a billion times bigger than NYPD's.

Not that size really matters, but legal experts said the police don't have a case.

First Amendment Right

"Much as the police may not like it, the public has a First Amendment right to warn others about police activity," the American Civil Liberties told the New York Post.

Google acquired Waze in 2013, and police associations soon started to complain. They said it could put police officers' lives in danger.

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