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New iPhone App Lets Drivers Report You To DMV, Insurance Company

Posted in Bizarre, driving, General, Legal, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | December 17th, 2010 | 5 Responses |

Philip Inghelbrecht knows a thing or two about writing successful apps; he was, after all, one of the creators of the Shazam music recognition app. His latest venture, an iPhone app called DriveMeCrazy, leaves me both intrigued and horrified. The concept is simple, but the implications are anything but. Download the app (it’s free), and you can report anyone you see for “bad driving”, simply by recording a voice tag of their license plate and completing a “traffic ticket” form. If you’ve got time to kill, you can also look up how many times the same driver has been reported to DriveMeCrazy, and for what offenses. Want to meet the cute blond in the car next to you? Flag her plate, give her a five heart rating, record a message and if she’s a DriveMeCrazy member she’ll get in touch with you. Unless, of course, she correctly identifies you as “that creepy stalker dude” she sees on her commute. If you’re feeling magnanimous, you can also flag someone as a good driver, but I doubt I’d ever use that feature myself.

Sounds like harmless fun, right? Not exactly, since DriveMeCrazy will also compile data and send it to local DMVs and insurance companies. That’s not a big deal right now, since I can’t think of a single state DMV that will do anything other than ignore the data. Likewise, insurance companies can’t touch it since it’s not “official” data; the danger comes when both the DMV and the insurance companies start analyzing the data to “look for repetitive patterns”. If and when that day comes, how would you like to get traffic tickets and higher insurance rates, courtesy of an anonymous driver you happened to piss off?

Since the app is open to all, anyone can flag you as a bad driver. Not driving fast enough for the guy behind you? He can flag you as a bad driver. Driving too fast for the guy in front of you? He can flag you, too, if he can read your license plate. Maybe the person next to you doesn’t like blue cars, so they happen to report that you were driving drunk, speeding in and out traffic at 30 mph over the limit, after sending a busload of orphaned children off a bridge and into a river. DriveMeCrazy claims they’ll vet the data to discredit anyone who abuses the app, and will remove any “malicious” flags from your data. Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better.

Source: Autopia

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5 Responses

  1. […] The concept is simple, but the implications are anything but. Download the app (its free), and […]Read more… Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Philip […]

  2. Canrith says:

    Good intentions, gone wrong.

    Good: Where it won’t likely be reviewed by the DMV, if a driver can see their own record, it might give them a slight wake up call.

    Bad: You can be reported by the masses, for no reason other than they ‘just felt like it.’

  3. eddie_357 says:

    its downright wrong as people hide behind the fact its for the good of all.bad for me because i like to get on it.which iam allmost sure uptight people think is bad driving.so for me it another example of lost privacy.iam really begining to hate phones we take each others picture with out asking permission whats with that..loss of rights and the right to some privacy, gone.

  4. Kurt Ernst says:

    Canrith & eddie – exactly my point. I don’t particularly want others critiquing my driving, because their interpretation of safe or reasonable isn’t necessarily my own.

  5. Philip says:

    Philip here, just jumping in on the article and comments. As Kurt points out, we do have numerous checks and balances in place (and will soon manifest these back to the flagger realtime). As such, DriveMeCrazy is less prone to frivolous reports than other review sites e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon, etc.

    We hope that DriveMeCrazy will provide people with constructive feedback; many bad drivers are simply not aware of the impact they have on the majority of good drivers. Part of this effort involves creating an open system, which organizations such as the DMV or insurance companies can tap into. Insurance is a regulated industry, and their use of this data for setting premiums is far from established.

    Philip – CEO DriveMeCrazy