Waze is the latest technological development to generate both millions from prospective investors and many positive headlines in various Jewish news outlets. With increased concerns around the globe about internet privacy, however, the sale of the company to Google has come under closer scrutiny by both the American Federal Trade Commission and governments around the world.
Waze combines mapping technology with the crowd-sourcing trend. In essence, Waze is a mapping program that updates itself based on information from users in regards to accidents, closed roads, travel delays and other information not generated by traditional mapping software. The Google deal to acquire Waze was said to be valued at about $1.1 billion.
Privacy concerns have caused the FTC to announce that they will be reviewing the deal more carefully. Five nations in Europe have already announced they will sue Google over privacy issues, and more are expected to follow suit. They are also threatening not to allow the Waze app to go forward until questions regarding how user data will be collected are answered.
Although none of this is seen as having the potential to doom the sale, it could delay Google’s use of Waze. It may also dampen enthusiasm for Waze among privacy-concerned web users.