Police Department Writes Letter To Internet Giant Asking It Cease Sending Alerts Via Popular Waze Mobile App


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has sent a cease and desist letter to Google, demanding that it remove alerts about DWI checkpoints on the Waze driving app.

Google purchased the popular crowd-sourced app in 2013.

Web Extra: Click here to read the letter (.pdf)

“This letter serves to put you on notice that the NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application, a community-driven GPS navigation application owned by Google LLC, currently permits the public to report DWI checkpoints throughout New York City and map these locations on the application,” the NYPD wrote.

Clearly, the Department thinks the internet giant is hindering its ability to keep city streets safe.

“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,” the letter continued. “The posting of such information for public consumption is irresponsible since it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving. Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk.”

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The letter comes after Google launched a new feature on its Google Maps app, alerting drivers to the location of police speed cameras.

“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,” a Google spokesperson told CBS2 in a statement.

Drivers say they started getting the new speed camera alert on Google Maps last week.

Comments (8)
  1. Cassandra Pierre says:

    You made at Google? Well stop hiding in the bushes then smh ijs.

  2. Carl Robbins says:

    Do the cops think a really drunk person is monitoring this app?

  3. Geoffrey Charles Kellum says:

    Just go home NYPD, no one needs you.

  4. Brent Busch says:

    I guess the clueless NYPD forgot about the 1st amendment.

    1. David Bissette says:

      That whole pesky Freedom of Speech thing rears its ugly head from time to time.

  5. louis11725 says:

    Interesting. Even the police are under the watchful eyes of Google. Is anything sacred? I remember a time when I had to reset my cell phone due to Google sending me an e-mail of every place I had been for 7 days. It was pretty scary.
    Does Google think they are “Big Brother”? Who is Google that we have to answer to them?

    1. Mark Van Alstine says:

      It’s all in your settings. You control your own privacy. All data companies want your data for is to serve you the most relevant information and to help make things easier and better for you. That being said, a lot of people do find it creepy or stalker-like because it isn’t something you think is being tracked. The apps let you know upfront though about tracking location history. If you have an iPhone, you can see that there are frequent location tracks inside the privacy area of your phone to try and provide you relevant directions before you ask for them. All of it can be turned off easily though.

      1. louis11725 says:

        I know, I shut off any chance of being tracked, it is still not a good thing for any company to do, not matter how much a person protects themselves.

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