Apple looking into senate request for DUI checkpoint app removals

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
During a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, Apple Vice President of Software Technology Guy L. "Bud" Tribble told senators that the company is in the process of "looking into" the legality of apps that broadcast police DUI checkpoints.



Four U.S. Senators, including Sen. Charles Schumer, sent letters to Apple, Google and Research in Motion in March requesting that the companies remove apps notifying users of police sobriety checkpoints their respective application stores. Schumer raised the issue again at Tuesday's Senate subcommittee hearing on privacy.



Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., scheduled the hearing, which was entitled "Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy," after reports surfaced that Apple and Google were tracking users via location database files in iOS and Google Android.



Tribble, who served as manager of Apple's original Macintosh software development team and helped to design the original Mac OS and user interface, and Alan Davidson, Google's director of public policy for the Americas, participated in the second panel at Tuesday's hearing.



Schumer specifically took issue with apps like Buzz'd and Fuzz Alert, which "really only have one purpose:" to notify drivers when they get near checkpoints. "We brought these to the attention of RIM, they pulled the app down. I'm disappointed that Apple and Google did not. Why not?", This is my next reported Schumer as asking.



Davidson explained that Google's policy is to maintain and maximize openness, adding that the apps do not violate the company's policy. After being pressed further by Schumer, Davidson told the committee that Google is "actively discussing it" and he would take the senator's request back to the company.



"I hope that you narrowly look at this app. You agree that it is a terrible thing, and it probably causes death," Schumer responded.



Speaking on behalf of Apple, Tribble noted that some of the apps in question "are publishing data that's actually first published by the police department." However, Schumer dismissed the assertion as "sort of a weak read," adding that he knew of no police department "that would publish this [information] in realtime."



"We're in the process of looking into it -- we have a policy that we don't allow apps that encourage illegal activity," Tribble replied. "If the apps intent is to encourage people to break the law, then we will pull it. I will take that back."



After encouraging Apple to make a distinction between "the police department and an app that updates in real time," Schumer asked that both Google and Apple get him an answer in a month's time.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    cinemagiccinemagic Posts: 67member
    Our senators and congressmen are simply stupid.The courts have ruled that police cannot have DUI checkpoints unless they advertise the location and time to the public (newspaper) in advance of the checkpoint. Where do they think the app's information about the DUI checkpoints is coming from? The government says "no DUI checkpoint unless it is publicly announced", then wants Apple to remove an app that accomplishes what the government says police must first do. We have idiots for legislators. I'm not a proponent of DUI. In fact I personally think that DUI laws are far too lax. But that doesn't change the facts pertaining to this app and the stupidity of Sen. Al Franken, et.al.
  • Reply 2 of 60
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Since when do you not have the right to report what you see on a public street?



    Before cellphones we used to broadcast this information to other reps in our company using our pagers.



    So is the senate proposing a ban on SMS and phonecalls as they also can be used to report to others what is happening in PUBLIC places.



    Knowing where speed cameras are REDUCES the speed of traffic in the area which is the stated purpose of such devices, unless the bodies that install them want to come clean and admit they are there for revenue raising purposes using entrapment.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    "progressives" being "progressives"
  • Reply 4 of 60
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,224member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    "progressives" being "progressives"



    I agree.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    Cinemagic - You're absolutely correct!! I don't think Congress (both houses) understands the Fourth Amendment.



    hill60 - I don't think you understand what entrapment is. I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but entrapment is the police/gov etc getting you to do something you normally wouldn't do then prosecuting you.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Idiots posturing, nothing to see here.



    Ever heard of free speech, Schumer? And don't tell me Al Franken hasn't broken numerous drug laws during his stint at Saturday Night Live.



    What hypocrites. All the more reason to get involved and vote dirtbags out of office.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cinemagic View Post


    Our senators and congressmen are simply stupid.The courts have ruled that police cannot have DUI checkpoints unless they advertise the location and time to the public (newspaper) in advance of the checkpoint. Where do they think the app's information about the DUI checkpoints is coming from? The government says "no DUI checkpoint unless it is publicly announced", then wants Apple to remove an app that accomplishes what the government says police must first do. We have idiots for legislators. I'm not a proponent of DUI. In fact I personally think that DUI laws are far too lax. But that doesn't change the facts pertaining to this app and the stupidity of Sen. Al Franken, et.al.



    These greasy thugs are way worse than stupid but you're on the right track. What they do is a stew of prostitution, graft, and legalized theft.



    Aside from that of course, I admire our distinguished elected leaders. Yessir.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Interesting the Senate whines about breaking the law while they break our 4th Amendment rights to illegal search and seizure.



    Checkpoints are open to the public and not on private property. What's the difference if someone decided to stand down the street and post it to Twitter or Facebook?



    The non-removal of apps doesn't not cause death. The driver of the car does.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Yeah! Damned if I'm gonna let some liberul take away my god given right to get shit faced and kill me some kids!
  • Reply 10 of 60
    danacamerondanacameron Posts: 337member
    I think the apps are a bad idea that encourage deviant behavior that endangers lives, whether they're legal or not. I hope Apple curates its App Store responsibly and takes them down. As others have pointed out, this information is already published elsewhere. There don't need to be apps for that.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    buzzmegabuzzmega Posts: 66member
    If you are stinko and still have the presence of mind to drive around the checkpoints, then that's a test of skill, even under duress.



    If you are NOT stinko, knowing where the stinko monitors are impeding traffic is not a bad ability to access.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    alanskyalansky Posts: 235member
    Leaving the DUI issue aside for a moment, let me highlight the most relevant thing you said:



    "We have idiots for legislators."



    Unfortunately, we also have idiots for citizens. How else to explain why everyone is going about their business as though everything is perfectly ok while our elected representatives spend virtually all their time helping the banks and big corporations take over the entire country?
  • Reply 13 of 60
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GQB View Post


    Yeah! Damned if I'm gonna let some liberul take away my god given right to get shit faced and kill me some kids!



    Just did a quick check and sure enough there are laws against the 2nd part no matter the instrument used.



    Laws don't prevent crime. Do Apps?
  • Reply 14 of 60
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cinemagic View Post


    Our senators and congressmen are simply stupid.The courts have ruled that police cannot have DUI checkpoints unless they advertise the location and time to the public (newspaper) in advance of the checkpoint. Where do they think the app's information about the DUI checkpoints is coming from? The government says "no DUI checkpoint unless it is publicly announced", then wants Apple to remove an app that accomplishes what the government says police must first do. We have idiots for legislators. I'm not a proponent of DUI. In fact I personally think that DUI laws are far too lax. But that doesn't change the facts pertaining to this app and the stupidity of Sen. Al Franken, et.al.



    Aside from the gratuitous insults about legislators that YOU elect to deal with problems like DUI (you could be elected yourself, you know, so what would that make you?), here is a very informative link to how one state manages checkpoints. As to apps, let's have a reasonable discussion where you and others can make your best arguments. Sometimes we lose sight of the real objective - reducing the terrible toll that intoxicated drivers take every year on thousands of innocent victims.



    http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/sobcheck.stm
  • Reply 15 of 60
    halhikerhalhiker Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Patranus View Post


    "progressives" being "progressives"







    I consider myself a progressive and think DUI checkpoints are one of the biggest scams perpetrated on the public. They allow cops to stop drivers without probable cause and check them for violations not pertaining to DUI. It is a goddam intrusion into my liberty and I resent it immensely.



    I hope that Apple will not kowtow to the politicians who are trying to please the police unions who love the overtime that comes with checkpoints.



    Conservatives and progressives can oppose checkpoints AND the elimination of technology that notifies people to avoid them. http://goo.gl/L1PrG
  • Reply 16 of 60
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,502member
    Please oh Please will you remove apps that allow citizens to know about where the Police [so much for ``To Serve and Protect''] are so they can avoid them?



    It sure as hell wasn't for this brew ha ha about selling your info to marketers. It's a whine session requested by Law Enforcement who whined to the DOJ who then passed the whining onto the Senate.





    SIDE BAR:



    As a progressive don't call this a Progressive Agenda. This has GOP written all over it. The crap they are pulling now in Florida with mandatory Drug Testing before you receive your unemployment, to all state employees to have random drug testing, etc., is BIG BROTHER.



    Sorry, but the GOP is the Moral Minority Party who wants everyone to fall in line like Sheep and repent for our purported sins.



    The stunts they are pushing through in a dozen major states is a reaction to knowing they are going to be thrown out on their rears in 2012.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    sddavesddave Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    As a progressive don't call this a Progressive Agenda. This has GOP written all over it.



    Oh really, GOP all over it?

    The four senators who wrote to Google and Apple?

    This is from Senator Schumer's Web site:



    In March, Schumer along with U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Tom Udall (D-NM) wrote to executives at Google, Research In Motion (RIM, Blackberry?s app maker) and Apple asking the companies to remove applications from their sites which could alert drunk drivers to DUI checkpoints.



    Hmm, all four senators are DEMOCRATS.

    Blind partisanship is so tiresome.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    sofabuttsofabutt Posts: 99member
    A friend of mine was caught driving drunk at a DUI checkpoint. I am glad he was; he didn't end up killing anyone, or damaging someone's property as a result, and he learned that he couldn't afford to drink and drive again.



    Only an idiot thinks these checkpoints are used to violate someone's civil rights, or that overtime is a good excuse to stage one of these things.



    If you are stopped at a checkpoint and probable cause is established to search your vehicle for drugs, stolen property, or anything else illegal, then good on the cop that spotted you for a criminal. If you drive off from one of these checkpoints without going to jail and only being inconvenienced, good on yo for being an honest person that has the privilege of being protected by your local law enforcement. If a cop smelled alcohol on your breath and did a field sobriety test on you as a result, then maybe that's a wake up call for you not to drink before you drive.



    If you want to run an app to see if there is a DUI checkpoint on your way home from work, school, ,the bar, etc, then good for you. If you want to run an app to avoid a DUI checkpoint on your way home, because you know you are drunk, then you're too stupid to check the app before you drive home anyway. I don't know any criminal that is very bright, otherwise they would stop showing up at my local jail for the same reasons.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    Troubles with Tribbles!!!
  • Reply 20 of 60
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SDDave View Post


    Oh really, GOP all over it?

    The four senators who wrote to Google and Apple?

    This is from Senator Schumer's Web site:



    In March, Schumer along with U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Tom Udall (D-NM) wrote to executives at Google, Research In Motion (RIM, Blackberry?s app maker) and Apple asking the companies to remove applications from their sites which could alert drunk drivers to DUI checkpoints.



    Hmm, all four senators are DEMOCRATS.

    Blind partisanship is so tiresome.



    They are the 4 members in the Majority of the Committee. If the Republicans were the majority it would be 4 Republicans. That's how it roles when you have the majority position.



    Get it?



    They are the face for the entire committee and entire Senate, regarding this matter.



    It's akin to Darell Issa now being chairman of his committee requesting businesses from all over to testify for his agenda.



    Behind all of these faces are back drop agendas. In this case, it's Law Enforcement [who overwhelmingly vote Republican]. What's ironic is how these tools vote for the party that works at getting their jobs cut.
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