TomTom sells location data to police


As GPS began being increasingly incorporated into smartphones, satnav manufacturers like the Dutch company TomTom were forced to search for new revenue streams. In 2011, TomTom was forced to apologise when the Dutch newspaper AD reported that the company had sold driving data collected from customers to police, which used it to site speed cameras in locations where speeding was common. TomTom said that any information it shares had been anonymised; however, in response to the newspaper story the company said it would look at whether to allow police usage to continue. The company had been persuaded to sell the data on the basis that it would improve traffic safety and reduce bottlenecks. The Dutch data protection regulator investigated but concluded TomTom had not violated the law.

Writer: Dan Goodin, Rebecca Cowan
Publication: The Register, Reuters

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