Police agencies are up in arms because of the Google Waze app’s ability to track police, citing that it enables the criminal element to target or evade police and the National Sheriff’s Association is demanding that Google remove this feature before legal action is taken against the company.
Because of this I have received a number of inquiries from members of our community inquiring my viewpoint as being both a retired cop and a fan of both the Waze and Escort Live app.
First off let me explain what the Waze and Live app do, and their differences.
Both operate like a GPS navigation tool where users can track photo enforcement cameras, speed traps and police spotted alerts.
However the Escort Live app goes two steps further with its ability to share real time alerts with other Escort Live enabled radar detectors and years of data to identify speed trap locations.
Now because of the ability to track police, police agencies are calling these types of applications “stalker tools” which endanger cops and demanding that Google remove this feature.
First, as a retired police officer with many friends in the law enforcement community, I would never support the use of any app that would put an officers life at risk.
However for police to be calling for a ban of these types of apps is a little bit two-faced, as they have been using their facial recognition and automatic “stalker tools” on us for years, citing that we have no expectation of privacy in public.
The bottom line that they want apps like this banned is that they don’t want anything that will cut into their speeding ticket and driving violation revenue stream.
So this begs to ask what is next on their agenda; Escort Live, CB radios, police scanner and scanner apps and ultimately your smart phone?
Sounds a lot like we will be treated like North Korean citizens to me.