TomTom caught selling speed data to Dutch Police

TomTom's CEO apologized to customers and said that assisting police with speed traps went too far.

As if this week didn't have enough privacy snafus already, GPS maker TomTom now admits that it helped Dutch police set speed traps by selling anonymous user data.

With the rise of built-in navigation on smartphones, the GPS industry is facing a decline in revenue. As the Associated Press reports, TomTom hopes it can offset losses by selling traffic data to local governments.

Although the data given to Dutch police was anonymous, TomTom admitted that assisting police with speed traps went too far. "We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it," chief executive Harold Goddijn wrote in an e-mail to customers.

However, TomTom isn't finished collecting and selling anonymous user data. The company will merely modify its licensing agreements to prevent the kind of use that Dutch police sought. TomTom hopes that traffic data can help local governments reduce traffic bottlenecks and improve safety -- while making a little extra dough for the company.

Privacy issues have been all over the news this week, with Apple and Google responding to concerns about location tracking on the iPhone and Android devices, and Sony revealing that personal data and passwords were stolen in last week's PlayStation Network breach. TomTom's timing couldn't have been much worse.

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securityprivacyGoogleAppleGPSconsumer electronicsnavigation

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?