Apple Caves In, Bans DUI Checkpoint Apps For No Good Reason
from the isn't-the-point-deterrence? dept
We've noted that a bunch of senators were on a silly and uninformed grandstanding mission against various apps for the iPhone and Android phones that alert people to the locations of various police DUI checkpoints. Of course, all the grandstanding really did was to massively pump up the sales of those apps. However, it looks like Apple has caved in and banned such apps from the iOS app store. Nick Gillespie does a good job explaining why this doesn't make much sense. First he points out that most of the data for these apps is crowdsourced, meaning that the app maker really shouldn't have any responsibility or liability here, but even more to the point, he notes that (as we pointed out originally) police themselves regularly make this info available as a deterrent:
Some police departments actually supply the data used in such apps because they reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads! Somehow, I'm thinking that Steve Jobs circa 1984 (both the year and the ad) would have told U.S. senators sending threatening letters about computer-based info sharing to take a hike. Or at least to spend time on, I don't know, creating a freaking budget for the country rather than worrying about regulating something that helps reduce impaired driving.