The biggest creator of navigation gadgets in Europe TomTom apologized for providing driving data that it collected from customers to police.
According to a Dutch newspaper, that gathering of driving data has been sold to law enforcement in the Netherlands and used to plan the greatest location for speed traps.
TomTom has lost business to the smartphone market like Oltahe-based Garmin Ltd., which as well sells GPS-allowed navigation equipment. TomTom started selling the data it collected from users to local and regional governments to carry in more income.
Harold Goddijn, Tom Tom chief executive wrote in an email to customers, “We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it,” He said that upcoming licensing agreements would “prevent this type of use.”
Ted Gartner, spokesperson of the company said, Garmin does not sell its driving information to law enforcement. It just assembles driving data from customers who have the same opinion to allow the company gather the information and be of the same mind to become “probes.” And that information is merely shared with companies like Navteq that merge it with other resources to process live traffic updates fed back into Garmin navigation gadgets.
Garmin said in a statement, “The probe data we collect from customers is anonymous, meaning it cannot be traced back to the customer. The traffic providers are contractually obligated to use the probe data only for purposes of producing or enhancing their traffic service. They are not to give or sell the probe data to anyone else. We do not provide probe data to any governments or authorities.”
News concerning data sales of Tom Tom drew added awareness since it came on the heels of revelations that iPhones of Apple were logging users’ locations and that phones utilizing Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft Windows Phone 7 gadgets also check where their users go.
photo credit: iwannafile.com