iOS applications that alert drivers to DUI checkpoints and speed traps could soon be pulled from the App Store following a review by Apple that will determine whether or not these applications are illegal.
Guy Tribble, Apple’s Vice President of Software Technology, told senators during a U.S. Senate subcommittee yesterday that the company is currently looking into the legality of these applications, and will pull them if they are breaking the law.
Senator Charles Schumer voiced his concerns about applications like Fuzz Alert – the sole purpose of which is to notify drivers when they are approaching a checkpoint and even awards them points for reporting speed traps.
Schumer hit out and both Apple and Google and demanded to know why these apps haven’t been pulled already:
We brought these to the attention of RIM, they pulled the app down. I’m disappointed that Apple and Google did not. Why not?
Tribble explained that the applications in question are merely “publishing data that’s actually first published by the police department.” Schumer dismissed Apple’s argument and claimed to know of no Police department “that would publish this [information] in realtime.”
Apple and Google both declared that they are already in the process of looking into applications of this nature to try establish whether or not they encourage people to break the law. Schumer responded with:
I hope that you narrowly look at this app. You agree that it is a terrible thing, and it probably causes death.
It’s clear senators aren’t happy with Apple and Google offering these applications to their users – this is the second time they have called on Apple to pull them from the App Store. I’m sure it’s now only a matter of time before they vanish from the App Store and the Android Market.