Is TomTom the Most Unethical Company in Tech?

Recently, reports have surfaced that GPS manufacturer TomTom sold the information it collected regarding the speed of its customers to the government of the Netherlands so they could set up speed traps. In short, as a customer of TomTom in the country – assuming the practice is not more widespread, you are increasing the likelihood of getting caught by the police for exceeding the speed limit.

In my view, there is no more slimy practice than this – it is unfathomable to actually go out of your way to hurt your own customers – in the name of increased profits.

I must say my dealings with TomTom haven’t been much better as a year ago I called to turn off the Internet service associated with a TomTom GPS I purchased. I told the company the unit has been stolen and asked them not to authorize its use again. The operator explained this isn’t possible. They told me the theft of my device was the same as if it had been stolen from an electronics store – basically making the company an accessory to a crime by enabling the full use of a stolen device.

I put the two incidents above together and the revulsion for the company’s business practices only increases. I would stay away from the company at all costs.

On a related note, I mentioned in the above-referenced post that the Internet has become the world’s largest pawn shop for stolen goods and to combat the trend, we need a global directory of stolen items making the use of stolen items very difficult once they have been added to a central database.

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