Citing safety concerns, sheriffs from across the United States are asking Google Inc. to turn off a feature in its Waze app that warns users where police officers are located.
The app — which Google bought in 2013 for $966 million — has 50 million users in 200 countries, and provides real time traffic conditions as well as notifications of car accidents, traffic cameras, and construction zones; the locations of officers are marked with a police icon. Sheriff Mike Brown of Bedford County, Virginia, said this feature is a "police stalker," and Google needs to "act like the responsible corporate citizen they have always been and remove this feature from the application."
Nuala O'Connor, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology, told The Associated Press she doesn't think it's a legitimate request to disable this part of the app, and privacy advocates are actually more concerned over how much information Waze, which monitors the locations of its users as long as the app is open, gives to law enforcement about customers.
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