Waze is an awesome driving app that also lets hackers stalk you


#1

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#2

Even worse, it could lead to another bad remake of The Italian Job.


#3

Just another reason to uninstall it. Its routing sucks. It once told me to make an illegal left turn over a concrete median, from a right-turn-only intersection. It routinely tries to take me several blocks out of my way, just to avoid a left turn at a traffic light, on a little-used street. Its interface is cartoonish and difficult to read. Its warnings are usually wrong, or expired.

As its traffic info is now available in Google Maps, I don’t see any reason for it to take up space on my phone.


#4

It could also be used to reroute you around the fake traffic jam, into the ambush.


#5

I’m also not a fan of the fact that the iOS version of the app limits your choices on how you permit it to use location services. You can allow it always, or never. That’s it. Unlike many apps, there’s no option to only allow location usage while the app is active.


#6

We all know why it’s popular, why we use it, and why it gets so much attention and heat. It’s worth all its problems to know exactly where that SHP is lying in wait to ruin your day.


#7

Ya, that’s why I use it when I go back home to The Sticks (ya sure as heck don’t have to worry about traffic there)


#8

Are you sure? I think Google Maps only shows general traffic speed. Granted that’s the most important detail, but Waze also shows interesting stuff like the fact that there’s an accident up ahead, often the severity of that accident, the fact that someone’s on the shoulder, road hazards, etc.

Its kind of like CB radio was 10 years ago, and much more detailed.


#9

It doesn’t show the social media type info (which is what allows the stalking). But it does use Waze traffic data, combined with aggregated data from all the cars on the road with location services turned on.

Google Maps shows accidents, construction sites, etc. and routes you around slow areas. It just does it without looking like a Saturday morning cartoon.


#10

I would think that setting yourself as invisible would negate the ability to track… (I’ve only read the BB synopsis, though)
Edit:
Yep

Part of what allowed the researchers to track me so closely is the social nature of Waze and the fact that the app is designed to share users’ geolocation information with each other. The app shows you other Waze drivers on the road around you, along with their usernames and how fast they’re going. (Users can opt of this by going invisible.)
Ya have to hit the invisible button every time that ya start waze, so there is probably some location reporting before ya can do that (or remember to do that)

#11

I disagree with this article.

I have only seen info from Waze on my Google maps and none from other traffic aggregators. Also, Waze continually verifies info and updates traffic conditions as you use the app.

I’ve actually used Waze side by side with Google just too see if there were differences, and it appeared to me that traffic conditions lagged significantly in the greater Los Angeles area.


#12

How would you know?

As does Google Maps. I’ve been driving along a route when Google announces a slowdown ahead and asks if I want an alternate, now faster, route.

Google may be taking a conservative approach, when using human-sourced data, as it can be in error, sometimes on purpose. ​Irate Homeowners Are Spoofing Waze To Reroute LA Traffic.


#13

Not much you could do about it. You could cap single ip addresses but that’s not a perfect solution. You could add a captcha.


#14

Because I was using Google maps and I noticed reports were attributed to Waze, which is how I was introduced to Waze while vacationing almost three years ago.

Which I wrote, and I previously stated that I find their aggregated traffic reporting somewhat slower in the Los Angeles area. (Used my phone with Waze app alongside my husband’s phone with Google maps in trying to determine which of the two apps was most accurate. Waze beat out Google maps the entire weekend.)

I heard about this over a year ago, and I have yet to experienced this when on surface streets.

BTW, people who use the freeways a lot do not want the “conservative approach” (i.e., lagging reports).


#15

Waze is one of their products, so it makes sense that they’d note it. But that doesn’t mean it’s their only source of data.

My problem with Waze is that I find its routing to be untrustworthy. It has taken me far out of my way for no reason, and has even created routes that would require breaking traffic laws.


#16

Report the errors, they will get fixed. Usually, for me, when it wants me to do something weird, there is a good reason. I don’t like how fond it is of having me make unprotected left turns, say, across three lanes of 40 mph speed limit traffic.


#17

I’m looking for an alternative. At this point, I wish Facebook had bought them, and I hate facebook. The interface keeps getting worse, searching gets worse (I cannot believe I’m saying this about something from Microsoft), but Bing location search was great. So,now search gets me a bunch of irrelevant results (if I’m looking for a 7 Eleven, don’t show me an add for one 1500 miles away, and why are you not showing me the ones within a few miles?

I do still use it for the routing, anyone know of anything else that works with live traffic info?


#18

That one’s because of the community editors. Not to give them a hard time. It’s like wikipedia. Most of the time it’s great. And sometimes … :construction:

I don’t know about Maps because I don’t use it for my commute but Google figured out my commute and “helpfully” gives me a heads up (in the form of a notification that usually sounds alarmingly like a text message) whenever it thinks there’s anything that might obstruct my commute.


#19

Brrrr, full-on creepy stalker mode, there… can you get a restraining order on that sorta thing?


#20

Google will assume that anyplace you visit often enough is your place of employment. And that’s how I get notifications about travel time to “work” aka the fabric store and Starbucks.

I do wish it would remember the route I take to my actual volunteer job, though. It insists on trying to route me a way that is technically faster, but more of a pain in the ass. I prefer the slightly longer route that’s less stressful and I’d like to get travel time/traffic info for the road I’ll actually be taking. And not get told to make a u-turn every 500 feet.