iPhone users who want to avoid the police can now hit Google Maps before being hit by gas. Google is rolling out the ability to report speed traps, crashes and slowdowns in real-time in its Maps iOS app, making the new feature available to nearly 1 billion existing users worldwide. It was already available on Android phones, as well as Google’s other Maps app, Waze, which has a fraction of its users.
But US law enforcement is critical to reporting such outposts and using such technology for other types of police presence to identify those under the influence of alcohol or drugs, something they say is important to road safety. Increases the risks.
The New York Police Department wrote a letter to the New York Police Department in February asking them to stop alerting users to those locations.
This is the latest wrinkle in the sometimes rocky relationship between law enforcement and tech companies in recent years. Most giant tech firms mix free speech, privacy, and ease of use as the pillars of their services and tools, values that do not always align with helping the police in a case.
Amazon initially battled law enforcement for a recording of one of its Echo speakers who may have been a witness to a murder but was eventually exonerated. The FBI threw away the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone, seeking the help of professional hackers after Apple refused to help. And the United States, Britain and Australia have all called for a plan to encrypt their messaging app on Facebook, until it offers investigators a way to view communications.