TomTom Sells GPS Data to Governments

You’d almost think someone’s declared this Privacy Awareness Week. TomTom says it sold user data collected from drivers to the Dutch police so they could set up speed traps.

The data was aggregated  and anonymous, but TomTom apparently believes it can offset declining revenues by selling this kind of information to governments for use in planning and improving roadways. In this case, police used it to determine where cameras would bag the most speeders.

CEO Harold Goddijn emailed customers to say the company “never foresaw this kind of use.” It’s modified its licensing agreement to prevent it from happening in the future, but it doesn’t plan to stop selling data.

TomTom, like many GPS makers, is under financial pressure: It just scaled back its sales forecasts.

Comments

  1. BY sandra says:

    Very interesting read, I was wondering whether you have a top ten list similar to the one on http://gpsbest.co.uk and if you consider the application based satnav clients such as google navigation to be better than the standalone devices?

    • BY Mark Feffer says:

      We don’t have that list, unfortunately. I think one good place to look for satnav vs standalone information is cnet.

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