NYPD Sends Cease and Desist Letter to Google and Waze.
New York Police Department – The Gloves Are Off
By: Cristal M Clark
I love Waze personally, I use it even when I don’t need it just because of the voice choices I get, I loved it when Samuel L Jackson talked me into work every day.
I have not ever used it though for things that the police would maybe consider an abuse of it, I’ll use to in bad weather so as to avoid accidents, or if I hear about police activity in a part of town I am going to be near and that police activity is usually tied to a major event like a couple of weekends ago in Denver when someone shot two DPD officers, I’d like an alternate route, or I want to be near the story because I am going to write about it, but I am generally not really interested if the police have a speed trap ahead or a DUI checkpoint.
Although this story focuses more on the NYPD, I am sure other cities are facing this very same issue.
I guess I had never thought of this, users are in fact reporting DUI checkpoints and the NYPD has a pretty clear message for Waze and it’s parent company Google in the form of a cease and desist letter issued to Waze and Google, the NYPD described that Waze is in fact putting the lives of its citizens at risk:
“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 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.”
I agree however…It’s important to know that legally, I can’t imagine that the NYPD could actually make Google enforce not allowing users to report DUI checkpoints, they would technically have to prove that Google/Waze were encouraging users to report the checkpoints.
Which they are not.
As a user of Waze, the app does not encourage me to report anything other than maybe accidents, weather issues or hazards in the road, like a dead body rolled up in a carpet on the shoulder of the road that I might like to avoid hitting. You know things like that.
Also, Google is testing out some limited traffic stop reporting features in Google Maps which would tell users of some form of traffic stop, I am sure that Google would not label it DUI checkpoint but to be honest, users are not stupid, they would be able to figure it out given the time and location of such a stop.
Morally though, if you are a user who is reporting DUI checkpoints, shame on you. A speed trap I can see, okay fine, but a DUI checkpoint? Hey I get it, some individuals take this F the police thing seriously and think this is funny. It’s not really funny.
If someone got word of a DUI checkpoint through Waze, avoided the checkpoint and harmed let’s say my children or grandchildren, I’d find out, hunt you down and destroy your life. And I know people who could in fact vouch for that this very moment.
When someone goes against my principal, I can be a wee bit relentless.
But, the NYPD could, if they wanted to and this is me giving you guys a legal way to up the ante here, they could file something like, oh what is that word I am looking for…oh that’s it a, subpoena. Because as it were, sometimes for those of you delightful individuals who like to report DUI checkpoints and take note of this, when you “report” something to an “organization or company” your information is “logged” such as the account you reported it from, the cell # that you reported it from…I don’t know just something to think about you know in your spare time whilst driving around reporting DUI checkpoints and such.
So stop reporting DUI Checkpoints everyone, it’s just a bad idea.
Cristal M Clark
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What are your thoughts