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Police officials have lobbied for the right to conduct a variety of unfettered electronic surveillance tactics on the public, everything from being able to affix GPS trackers on vehicles to acquiring mobile phone cell-site location records and deploying "stingrays" in public places—all without warrants.
Some law enforcement officials, however, are frightened when it's the public doing the monitoring—especially when there's an app for that. Google-owned Waze, although offering a host of traffic data, doubles as a Digital Age version of the police band radio.
Apple has filed a patent application for something that looks remarkably similar to Google's billion-dollar crowdsourced mapping buy, Waze - which earlier this year was rumoured to be an Apple takeover target.
The fourth-of-July filing for “User Specified Route Rating and Alerts”, US application 20130173155, has one of the briefest abstracts this Vulture South hack has seen:
Google's acquisition of Israeli mobile navigation app vendor Waze is going to get an anti-trust examination by the FTC.
Earlier this month, Mountain View's acquisition team flipped open the wallet to the tune of $US1.3 billion for the social map app, its sub-$US70 million revenue, and its claimed fifty million users. When the Chocolate Factory made its buy, Waze was also attracting the interest of Apple and Facebook.
With Google set to buy app-maker Waze, the question is whether Google actually needs the crowd-sourced traffic app or is simply trying to stick it to its competitors.
On Tuesday, Google confirmed weeks of rumors that it is buying Waze. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal, but early reports put the price between $1 billion and $1.3 billion.
Google is close to a deal to acquire Waze, maker of the eponymous crowdsourced mapping app, for at least $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal and others.
The potential deal was first reported by Israeli business site Globes which said it would be worth $1.3 billion, citing sources.