Apple modifies App Store Review Guidelines to ban DUI checkpoint apps

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has complied with a request from the U.S. Senate and changed the guidelines for software in its iPhone App Store, as it has now banned applications that inform users of DUI checkpoints.



The new App Store Review Guidelines, highlighted Wednesday by Autoblog, have an added section 22.8 as of this week. The new section states:



"Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."



Back in March, a group of Democratic U.S. Senators -- Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall -- banded together to send letters to Apple, Google and Research in Motion, requesting that they remove applications from their respective digital stores that notify users of police checkpoints. The senators argued that the applications in question are "harmful to public safety" because they could allow drunk drivers to evade police detection.



In May, Apple's vice president of software technology, Guy L. "Bud" Tribble, took part in a hearing on privacy at the U.S. Senate. During that hearing, Tribble, said that Apple was in the process of "looking into" the legality of so-called DUI checkpoint applications.



Some applications, like Trapster, rely on users to submit data when they encounter speed traps, DUI checkpoints or police patrols. The GPS-enabled applications can then warn other drivers of potential locations.







Trapster, which bills itself as the "world's most complete and up to date speed trap and camera database," is still available on the App Store. In addition to enforcement points and red light cameras, it also offers other services such as real-time traffic.



Schumer, speaking at the Senate privacy hearing, specifically took issue with applications like Buzz'd and Fuzz Alert, which he said "really only serve one purpose." He noted that when the applications were brought to the attention of RIM, the BlackBerry-maker complied and removed the software, while Apple and Google did not.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    revilrerevilre Posts: 67member
    Papers please?



    I really hate how we've come to live in a police state, where our 4th amendment rights are meaningless, and our 1st amendment right to free speech (telling others about a potential 4th amendment violation - to protect others rights) can so easily be trampled on by a senator.



    I despise drunk driving, but the fact of the matter is, many of the laws passed through the lobbying of MADD are unconstitutional. Forced to consent to a search without a warrant without probable cause under coercion and threat of losing your drivers license - whether you're sober or not.



    The problem with checkpoints is they are fishing expeditions. Anything the police can use to say you might be drunk, even refusing to answer questions which you legally may refuse to answer (5th amendment anyone?), gives them the ability (legal or not) to search your car, phone, laptop, etc. Next thing you know you might have been downtown when a bank was being robbed in the area based on your location data. That gives them probable cause to search your whole life -and there are so many laws, you know somewhere they are going to find something to charge you with no matter how petty.



    This is how the police state works, turn us into scared little babies. They will probably win.
  • Reply 2 of 80
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,351member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple has complied with a request from the U.S. Senate and changed the guidelines for software in its iPhone App Store, as it has now banned applications that inform users of DUI checkpoints.



    The new App Store Review Guidelines, highlighted Wednesday by Autoblog, have an added section 22.8 as of this week. The new section states:



    "Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected."



    Back in March, a group of Democratic U.S. Senators -- Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall -- banded together to send letters to Apple, Google and Research in Motion, requesting that they remove applications from their respective digital stores that notify users of police checkpoints. The senators argued that the applications in question are "harmful to public safety" because they could allow drunk drivers to evade police detection.



    In May, Apple's vice president of software technology, Guy L. "Bud" Tribble, took part in a hearing on privacy at the U.S. Senate. During that hearing, Tribble, said that Apple was in the process of "looking into" the legality of so-called DUI checkpoint applications.



    Some applications, like Trapster, rely on users to submit data when they encounter speed traps, DUI checkpoints or police patrols. The GPS-enabled applications can then warn other drivers of potential locations.







    Trapster, which bills itself as the "world's most complete and up to date speed trap and camera database," is still available on the App Store. In addition to enforcement points and red light cameras, it also offers other services such as real-time traffic.



    Schumer, speaking at the Senate privacy hearing, specifically took issue with applications like Buzz'd and Fuzz Alert, which he said "really only serve one purpose." He noted that when the applications were brought to the attention of RIM, the BlackBerry-maker complied and removed the software, while Apple and Google did not.





    Amendment IV





    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



    DUI checkpoints are direct violation of Constitutional Amdendment IV
  • Reply 3 of 80
    Quote:

    Back in March, a group of Democratic U.S. Senators -- Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg and Tom Udall -- banded together to send letters to Apple, Google and Research in Motion, requesting that they remove applications from their respective digital stores that notify users of police checkpoints. The senators argued that the applications in question are "harmful to public safety" because they could allow drunk drivers to evade police detection.



    Let's see, Reid endorsed a spending bill to build a bridge between Nevada and Arizona that would make land he owned more valuable. Schumer called a flight attendant on a US Airways flight from New York to D.C. a "bitch" because she asked him to comply with federal regulations and turn off his cell phone.



    Two out of four ain't bad I guess.



    All seriousness aside, shouldn't these folks be doing something worthwhile with the taxpayers money like, oh, balancing the budget?
  • Reply 4 of 80
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I do agree that DUI checkpoint apps are a harmful bunch. Then again, if you're punch drunk...how can you operate the phone (provided you don't have other passengers)?
  • Reply 5 of 80
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,351member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I do agree that DUI checkpoint apps are a harmful bunch. Then again, if you're punch drunk...how can you operate the phone (provided you don't have other passengers)?



    ++ like someone driving shatfaced is gonna pick up their phone and dial. They'd probably wreck out just trying if they were that drunk.
  • Reply 6 of 80
    revilrerevilre Posts: 67member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I do agree that DUI checkpoint apps are a harmful bunch. Then again, if you're punch drunk...how can you operate the phone (provided you don't have other passengers)?



    Considering I can write thesis papers without spelling or grammar errors while totally wasted, probably not that hard. Even then I still support the right of the apps to exist, its free speech, and the checkpoints have to be announced in many states anyway.
  • Reply 7 of 80
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    There goes the new iMessage service, which could be used to alert other iOS users to what is happening on public roads.
  • Reply 8 of 80
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    This is really interesting, because on one hand, it seems kind of messed up, but on the other hand, what would everyone think of a car full of dead people was found wrecked on the side of a back road, and right there on one of their phones is one of these apps, which if didn't exist, would have saved all their lives?



    It's a bit of a conundrum, but ultimately I'm not surprised by Apple's decision.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,351member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chronster View Post


    This is really interesting, because on one hand, it seems kind of messed up, but on the other hand, what would everyone think of a car full of dead people was found wrecked on the side of a back road, and right there on one of their phones is one of these apps, which if didn't exist, would have saved all their lives?



    It's a bit of a conundrum, but ultimately I'm not surprised by Apple's decision.



    I"m not surprised by Apple's decision either. The US Government hasn't been "by the people for the people" in a long time.



    Corporations and States that kowtow the the Feds in some cases can get benefits "down the road".



    Roughly 618 thousand men and women died during the Civil War to uphold freedoms that today are so "cavalierly" diluted.



    Today's DUI checkpoint is tantamount to a British soldier occupying the house of a colonist and searching through private property. If you have a warrant I'm cool with it but a checkpoint assumes guilt before innocence.



    The drunk driver stuff is the kind of emotive BS that Americans fall for. Here in Washington the liquor is controlled by the state so they are culpable for every drink driver on the road. They profit in some manner.
  • Reply 10 of 80
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    The thing I have never understood about USA and some Americans is the way they will argue for these "rights" and "amendments" and uphold their consitution no matter what.



    Do you honestly care so much that people have these "freedoms" that you are willing to assist people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs to endanger the lives of others?



    The same goes for the whole texting while driving thing. What is it about Americans and road safety that doesn't click?



    What use is your bill of rights when you are dead?
  • Reply 11 of 80
    dm3dm3 Posts: 168member
    Disappointed in Apple. The police state joins with the police corporation for total control. 1984 getting closer everyday. Another reason to use Android.
  • Reply 12 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post


    The thing I have never understood about USA and some Americans is the way they will argue for these "rights" and "amendments" and uphold their consitution no matter what.



    For the same reasons I've never understood why the UK government taxes the s**t out of the common folk while a bunch of passé royals are still on the gov. teat
  • Reply 13 of 80
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,041member
    For religious and health reasons, I don't drink any alcoholic beverages, nor do I do drugs (not even tobacco), nor do I condone those substances for use by others. And I certainly do not condone drunk driving. Even so, I think caving in to Congress on this is ludicrous, especially in light of the plain logic before us. If a so-called "drunk" is sober enough to use an iPhone app to navigate around a checkpoint, he's sober enough to drive safely.



    The usage of the app itself should determine if one is too drunk to drive. And if one wishes to contend the app is so easy now that even a drunk or drugged person could use it, rather than remove it from the iTunes entirely, just make it more challenging to use such that the app would become a sobriety check.



    The fact that Apple did not suggest this sanity to Congress indicates Apple suffers from the same brain disease as Congress. And I'm surprised that more people aren't mentioning this either. Is everyone suffering from the same disease now days?
  • Reply 14 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Today's DUI checkpoint is tantamount to a British soldier occupying the house of a colonist and searching through private property. If you have a warrant I'm cool with it but a checkpoint assumes guilt before innocence.



    The difference being one enters your private domain in your home while the other you are on publicly funded streets.



    Not that I think government should be unfettered with what they can do, but I've alway assumed once I leave the home, any expectation of privacy and freedoms are greatly reduced.

    (Not saying it's right, just realistic.)
  • Reply 15 of 80
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Harmful how? All the applications do is publish publicly available information. The Supreme Court has held that it is unreasonable to have DUI checkpoints without publishing the information first thereby removing a persons' reasonable expectation of privacy. The is a gutless move by Apple.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post


    I do agree that DUI checkpoint apps are a harmful bunch. Then again, if you're punch drunk...how can you operate the phone (provided you don't have other passengers)?



  • Reply 16 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JDW View Post


    ...



    The fact that Apple did not suggest this sanity to Congress indicates Apple suffers from the same brain disease as Congress. And I'm surprised that more people aren't mentioning this either. Is everyone suffering from the same disease now days?



    I'm concerned about that disease you're referring to and certainly don't want to be similarly afflicted. Could you please provide a link which states "the fact that Apple did not suggest this sanity to Congress"?
  • Reply 17 of 80
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member
    This is silly. Public information is public information. Although I expect more from Apple, I do sympathize with their dilemma. It's hard to blame a company for wanting to avoid appearing callous or negligent. Anyway this is simply window dressing that will have no effect on the perceived "problem."



    I'm sure some more universally designed app can reproduce the functionality of these apps in a more "respectable" way (when you call your app "Buzzed" or the like, it does send an idiotic message.) Perhaps some combination of location aware notifications and user customizable inputs to specify freely available information from the web,Twitter, or other sources will do the trick with not much of a problem (this must be possible in some way.) It will just de-monitize things.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    halhikerhalhiker Posts: 111member
    I seldom drink, have never driven drunk and feel anyone who does drink and drive is an idiot. However, I believe these damn checkpoints are an intrusion on law abiding citizens and nothing more than a way for cops to justify overtime and harass people. They're not even just drunk driving checkpoints anymore; they're drunk driving and driver's license checkpoints. Why do you need to check my license without probable cause? The main reason for them is not drunk drivers but impound fees from taking people's cars over minor violations. They are a waste of time and community resources and it is very weak of Apple to do this.



    The other day I talked to a guy who'd been out drinking at a bar and when he came out saw a cop in the parking lot. He went back inside and called a cab. If cops really want to curtail drunk drivers they should post patrol cars in the parking lots of the busiest bars in town so people will decide it's not a good idea to drive home and take a cab. Of course, the public may be safer but what about those impound fees?
  • Reply 19 of 80
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Amendment IV





    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.



    DUI checkpoints are direct violation of Constitutional Amdendment IV



    Got that right.



    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." —Benjamin Franklin



    As a large corporation, Apple basically has little room to move in this situation, unless they want to waste their time and resources fighting an opponent with unlimited time and resources (our glorious government).
  • Reply 20 of 80
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Safari has Javascript location apis now anyway (since version 5.0), so it should be possible to do this kind of thing on a webpage.
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