US Senators Ask App Stores to Ban Trapster and PhantomAlert Apps

PhantomALERT Application
PhantomALERT Application
On Monday four U.S. Senators released a letter to Apple, calling applications for iPhones that offers real-time, crowd-sourced update on police checkpoint “harmful to public safety.”  Similar requests have been made to Google and RIM for they own app stores.

In a letter to Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iPhone Software, the senators asked these applications to be removed from Apple’s online store or altered to remove the DUI/DWI checkpoint functionality. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) specifically named the "Trapster" and "PhantomALERT" applications.

Joe Scott, founder of PhantomALERT, wrote in an email to GPS Business News: “I think this is a kneejerk reaction. If they really understood what we are doing and aim to achieve they would actually support us.»
“Why do we provide DUI Check Point alerts? First of all, many Police department promote or advertises DUI crack downs through the media as PSAs or through PR. We are just taking it a bit further and pushing the info to  drivers through GPS and smart phone technology. Actually, many Police departments see us as another way to get the message out to the driving public. The idea is to deter drivers from drinking and driving. When drivers get alerts for DUI check points on their smart phones and GPS, they will think twice about drinking and driving.“

Interestingly in driving media attention to these applications the US Senators are actually creating a big surge in downloads. “Downloads have skyrocketed since the story broke on Monday. We are seeing an increase in downloads 4500% and sales are up 2700%,“ confirmed Joe Scott.

While PhantomALERT is not disclosing information bout their user base, Trapster - which was bought by NAVTEQ last year - is nearing 11 million downloads worldwide.

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011

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