June 8, 2011
After some key U.S. senators condemned the practice, Apple will no longer accept apps that warn drivers of DUI checkpoints. However, will Apple’s decision actually do anything to stop the practice? And what about the current apps on the market? Apple has recently changed its App Store Review Guidelines, according to news first reported by Autoblog. According to Section 22.8 of the document:
Apps which contain DUI checkpoints that are not published by law enforcement agencies, or encourage and enable drunk driving, will be rejected.This change is almost certainly a reaction to the call in March by four senators for Apple, Google, and BlackBerry to eliminate these types of apps from their respective app stores. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; and Tom Udall, D-N.M., said at the time that apps like this were a menace to road safety. The two leading apps that warn drivers of approaching roadblocks include Trapster and PhantomALERT. Both remain in the App Store and could for some time. Because these types of apps rely on crowd sourcing, it is possible people will find a way around Apple’s restrictions. For example, Autoblog states:
While developers might be able to remove the DUI stop functionality from their apps, most of the programs that identify law enforcement activity and speed traps are crowd-sourced, meaning users could submit the checkpoints themselves without the app's devs knowing what they're identifying.Neither Google nor BlackBerry have changed their policies, at least for the time being. Our advice: Trapster and PhantomALERT now in the App Store just in case they go away. What do you think? Did Apple do the right thing? Let us know by using the comments below.
Trapster speed trap alerts (now with Caravan and Patrol)