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Dutch Police Use TomTom Data To Place Speed Traps
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:00 am    Post subject: Dutch Police Use TomTom Data To Place Speed Traps Reply with quote

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TomTom have made a lot of noise about the rich speed data collected from their customers which has been used to develop IQ Routing and improve route calculations.

But they haven't been shouting about another use for the data. In an article by Dutch newspaper AD, it was revealed that police are using it to help position speed traps in the Netherlands.

The data was made available to local governments and authorities in an effort to help reduce congestion and allow them to plan traffic improvements.

An embarrassed TomTom had not envisaged the speed data being put to this usage and in a statement, released Wednesday, TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn wrote:

"We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit. We are aware a lot of our customers do not like the idea and we will look at if we should allow this type of usage."

With privacy concerns being high on many agendas this week TomTom have said that the data they collect is anonymized. Police are not targeting individuals, instead they are using the historical road speed data to identify roads where speeding may be an issue.

A video statement from Harold Goddijn:

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Last edited by Darren on Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mccririck
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough isnt it?
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What? Trap speeders? Whatever next?
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mccririck wrote:
Fair enough isnt it?

I think the point is whether you agreed to let TomTom themselves use that data collected by your device, or whether you agreed to let them sell it on to anyone else.

The wording on-screen implied the former, but the small print (somewhere) that no-one ever reads probably allows the latter.

M8TJT wrote:
What? Trap speeders? Whatever next?


And the other point is that it shows the data is used purely to find places where most speeding occurs, NOT the places where more accidents occur due to speeding.

I think we can all come up with examples where the speed limit is unnecessarily low, and as good citizens it is our duty to challenge those restrictions rather than just be sheep and accept every unjustifiable decision they throw at us.
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scarymonkey
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have expected no more really but (and it is a big but) along with using the data to place speed traps, they must also use this data to find places where speed limits may be too high or low. This will require more analysis than just the TT raw data will give but it does show places where it is certainly possible to drive above the speed limit without obvious issue.
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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would probably be useful for deployment of mobiles as well, where perhaps statistics show a trend in speed increases at particular spots, especially if there is a parallel increase in accidents there.
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Seamaster
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A shabby trick.
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jonbaker12345
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://twitter.com/#!/ruskin147/status/63636131719282688
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For non-Twitter users:

Rory Cellan-Jones wrote:
Spoken to TomTom PR - they say no speed data handed to UK police.(Dutch police used data to site speed cameras)

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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mccririck wrote:
Fair enough isnt it?


Definitely fair enough ... wish the UK police would use it to target hotspots. As a paramedic I can confirm ... speed kills, and far too often it's the other innocent party that dies.
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tomtom_shareholder
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc_cGepf1qg&feature=email&email=comment_reply_received
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The information gives rise to IQ Routes - the fastest way from A to B. It would seem from this usage that it may be wiser to disable IQ Routes!!
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's slightly annoying to know that Dutch Police have accessed the data and used it in this way but it's hardly a big issue is it? Especially since TomTom were quick to issue a statement acknowledging the concern and to say they will re-consider this usage.

But sensationalist stories like this one from CNET are just plain silly and verging on misinformed hysteria. It's not only LIVE models, there is no tracking of individuals or any ability for police to access live speed data. And in this case it was Dutch police only.

A sense of perspective is important here.
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Galvany
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry folks, but some of you accepting this are pretty naive. And whilst they've apologised, I cannot imagine that someone in TomTom did not envisage this would happen with the data.

It cannot be seen as acceptable that the data is sold on to government agencies (especially in the NL where I have lived) without considering/knowing that it might/would be used against motorists.

I don't buy the apology. But that's cynical me (who doesn't own a TomTom, never planned to own one , and never will!)!
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only used against motorists if they break the law Rolling Eyes
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