May 2, 2011

TomTom Is Not Your Friend

TomTom's steps to success:

  1. sell lots of fun GPS units, which communicate their speed data back to TomTom, to unsuspecting consumers
  2. sell the speed data to the cops
  3. profit!
  4. consumers find out. uh-oh!

From Slashdot:

As smartphones with GPS capabilities wear away at the dedicated GPS market, vendors like Tom Tom need to find new revenue streams. Tom Tom decided it would be a good idea to 'share' (i.e., sell) aggregated data from their users to Dutch law enforcement. The company claims they assumed that the data would be used to improve traffic safety and road engineering, and were shocked, shocked to discover that instead the police used it to figure out the best places to put speed traps.