TomTom, the maker of portable GPS devices, has apologized for turning over data it's collected from its customers to the police, who in turn have used this information to catch speeding motorists.
The data has been sold to local and regional governments in the Netherlands for use in helping the police establish speed traps, according to the Dutch newspaper AD.
TomTom has reported weak first quarter earnings, no doubt because more people are using the GPS capabilities of their smartphones and are less inclined to purchase separate navigation devices. The company has been seeking other revenue sources, the AP reports, which has included the sale of traffic data.
The company's CEO Harold Goddijn issued an email apology to customers on Wednesday, writing "We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it." He adds that licensing agreements in the future will "prevent this type of use in the future."
The news is the latest in a string of episodes concerning technology companies and their use of location data, following questions over the last week about the practices of Apple, Android, and Windows phones all tracking users' location.
For its part, TomTom insists that any information it shares has been anonymized and cannot be tracked back to an individual user, their device, or their driving habits.