The NYPD is taking aim at Google and its "Waze" navigation app for warning motorists about police DWI checkpoints, speed traps, and red-light cameras.
Police consider this crowd-sourced feature to be "irresponsible and dangerous" because it could help unsafe or drunken drivers avoid cops, according to a letter the NYPD sent to Google this week.
In the letter, written by Ann Prunty, the department's acting deputy commissioner for legal matters, the NYPD called on Google to disable the feature and said that users who supply the locations of police checkpoints could be breaking the law.
"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," Prunty wrote. "Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk."
In a statement, a Google spokesperson didn't say how the company would specifically respond to the letter but did defend the feature.
"Safety is a top priority when developing navigation features at Google," the spokesperson said. "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."
Another source at Google, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for the company said, "There is no expectation of privacy on a public street for anyone, including police. Speaking -- or publishing information about -- what is taking place on public streets is protected free speech."
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