Police officials have lobbied for the right to conduct a variety of unfettered electronic surveillance tactics on the public, everything from being able to affix GPS trackers on vehicles to acquiring mobile phone cell-site location records and deploying “stingrays” in public places—all without warrants.
Some law enforcement officials, however, are frightened when it’s the public doing the monitoring—especially when there’s an app for that. Google-owned Waze, although offering a host of traffic data, doubles as a Digital Age version of the police band radio.
Authorities said the app amounts to a “police stalker” in the aftermath of last month’s point-blank range murder of two New York Police Department officers. That’s according to the message some officials gave over the weekend during the National Sheriffs Association meeting in Washington.
“Who will guard the guards themselves?” It obviously has to be the public. Yet they do not want to be guarded. Tough.
They want all sorts of abilities to intrude on our lives and collect all sorts of information just ‘cuz.
Yet, crowd-sourced information about the presence of police is an existential threat to them. They suggest taking Google to court.
They really lack self awareness.
It’s the digital equivalent of flashing your brights to let people know a cop was ahead.
The fact that the app probably makes traffic safer since people will make sure to drive the speed limit never enters their heads. No one wants to be stopped by the police. (And of course, they ignore the fact that the maps are quickly out of date, as they depend on driver supplied data.)
Wait until they realize that the same facial recognition software they are looking forward to using in crowd scans can also be used to identify police officers.