Police ask Google to disable police tracking feature from Waze traffic App

National Sheriffs’ Association raises concerns about Waze app, say it risks lives of police officers

The police in United States are forcing Google to drop police tracking feature from its popular traffic update App, Waze.

The police are making a concerted effort to compel Google Inc to disable a feature in its popular Waze traffic app that lets drivers warn others about nearby police activity. On Wednesday, the association of the Sheriffs in USA, National Sheriffs’ Association  openly demanded Google to disable the feature because they say the App not only puts officers’ lives at risk, it also interferes with the ability to write speeding tickets.

“This app will hamper those activities by locating law enforcement officers and puts the public at risk,” the group said.

Google’s Waze app, which operates like a free GPS navigation tool lets users can tag the locations of parked police vehicles, accidents, congestion, traffic cameras, potholes etc so that other users using the App are are forewarned and they can avoid the traffic condition.

Waze though begged to differ from the NSA’s statement, Waze spokeswoman Julie Mossler said that,“Most users tend to drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby.”

The police however have a strong case to dislike Waze and its feature.  The National Sheriffs’ Association has taken on Waze on police safety after the fatal shootings of two New York City police officers in December, 2014.  It also said that Google’s software as hampering the use of speed traps. The trade association said radar guns and other speed enforcement techniques have reduced highways deaths.

Interestingly, Waze gained popularity after the news reports of police complaining against it emerged. Waze, Waze actually climbed four positions to No. 8 spot on Apple’s ranking of the top free mobile App in a week after AP disclosed the police authorities concerns about the app.

It remains to be seen if Google takes cognizance of the police concerns and disables the police alert feature in the App.

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