Community-based GPS navigation software apps such as the ever-popular Waze and Coyote have come under the spotlight in France due to the fact that drivers are using them to share important information about police roadside checks.
The French police say this is affecting counter-terrorism operations, drink driving and drugs tests, as well as criminal search investigations.
As a result a bill has been drawn up and will soon be presented to the French government that if it becomes law will put a stop to Waze users revealing where police are carrying out their checks, according to Le Parisien.
“The principle is that a criminal who has kidnapped a person, committed a terrorist act or is drunk while driving will no longer be able escape a police check because another driver has reported it to him through a GPS application,” said Emmanuel Barbe, the government's road safety tsar.
So, how would it work?
Well, according to the draft text submitted to France's Council of State for opinion the companies operating the software apps would be required to hide information relating to police checks for between around three and 24 hours.
If the operator did not comply, those behind the application would face up to two years in prison and a fine of up to €30,000.
So far the operators of these apps seem positively inclined towards the idea, with Coyote saying it is “favourable” towards the measure.
Even motorist group 40 million motorists is in favour of the idea, with the head of the group Pierre Chasseray saying that “no one can oppose this” if the plan is to prevent driving under the influence of drugs and drink.
According to the Alliance police trade union, this measure will be of major interest “in anti-crime operations against the most serious trafficking offenses”, which highlighted the fact that drug traffickers often use the apps to spot police checks in advance and divert their routes at the last minute.