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Tom Tom Sells GPS Info To Dutch Cops

jfruhlinger (470035) writes | more than 3 years ago

Government 2

jfruhlinger writes "As smartphones with GPS capabilities wear away at the dedicated GPS market, vendors like Tom Tom need to find new revenue streams. Tom Tom decided that it would be a good idea to "share" (i.e., sell) aggregated data from their users to Dutch law enforcement. The company claims that they assumed that the data would be used to improve traffic safety and road engineering, and were shocked, shocked to discover that instead the police used it to figure out the best places to put speed traps."
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Actually, they sell them to everyone (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36002330)

You can subscribe to their service, it's aggregated speed data. The reply from the police was that these are also the locations with the most and deadliest accidents. Which means that I (while being no fan of the police in general) have NO problem at all with this.

Now, if they'd been selling the data from individual users, *that* would have been a real issue. But this is semi-public data we're talking about. How come everyone can look at it, but not the police? Doesn't sound like a huge problem to me.

Re:Actually, they sell them to everyone (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36002462)

You can subscribe to their service, it's aggregated speed data. The reply from the police was that these are also the locations with the most and deadliest accidents. Which means that I (while being no fan of the police in general) have NO problem at all with this.

Now, if they'd been selling the data from individual users, *that* would have been a real issue. But this is semi-public data we're talking about. How come everyone can look at it, but not the police? Doesn't sound like a huge problem to me.

There is a huge problem with saying "It's OK to track people's every move, so long as there is not any way to tie it to an individual."

This is still NOT okay.

People have rights as a group, not just as individuals.

It's still surveillance, on unwilling subjects, for-profit, used to position government instruments to exercise control over their lives.

The fact that they don't know my name (but do know everything besides it) does not excuse this.

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