TomTom cleared of selling private data to police

Satellite navigation device manufacturer TomTom has been cleared of selling private data from its customers’ devices to third parties including the police.

The Dutch company sells data collected from its devices to organisations that want to know about traffic patterns. In April last year, it emerged that Dutch police had used the traffic data to chose where to locate speed cameras.

"We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit," it said. "We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it."

After that story was reported, Dutch authorities investigated the suggestion that personal data from customers had been handed to third parties. This week, the company announced that the investigated had found no evidence of this happening.

"The data we collect is anonymous and aggregated and we then sell it to governments, which gives them more up-to-date information about the road and allows them plan new roads and improve traffic flow," said Simon Hania, TomTom’s head of privacy and information security.

"We want to reassure all our customers that we use data to profile roads and traffic, and not individual people", said TomTom board member Alain De Taeye.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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