The NYPD has demanded that Google’s Waze stop sharing information about police checkpoints.
According to a report by CNBC, Google has just received a cease and desist letter from the NYPD demanding that it deactivate Waze’s police checkpoint reporting feature, which allows users to notify the community of police presence on the road.
Waze’s reporting feature can also be used to flag accidents, traffic jams, and other elements on the road that might modify a user’s trip. However, the NYPD has grown concerned about the number of users who use the feature to flag DWI (or driving while intoxicated) checkpoints. As a result, users can take a different route, avoiding the checkpoints. Because of this, the department is struggling to find and stop drivers who are driving under dangerous conditions and is pointing the finger at Waze for “irresponsibly” aiding them.
“Individuals who post the locations of DWI checkpoints may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions could be intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws. Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk,” the cease and desist letter stated.
Google has since responded to the request, not confirming or denying whether it would take steps to modify the service: “Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google. We believe that informing drivers about upcoming speed traps allows them to be more careful and make safer decisions when they’re on the road.”