Dedicated GPS navigation devices are not exactly the hottest consumer electronics devices in the market at the moment, so the latest snafu by TomTom doesn’t help – as the navigation device manufacturer recently confessed of supplying driving data collected from customers to police in the Netherlands in order to nab speeding motorists. TomTom has since apologized for doing so, but the loss of goodwill might prove to be a far more negative force than just the emergence of convergence devices in the market.
According to Dutch newspaper AD, TomTom’s hand was actually “forced” to do so as the company decided to compensate for declining profits by leveraging on increased sales in different areas, where among them include the sale of traffic data – to traffic cops, of all people.
At least TomTom was man enough to own up, but they did leave a back door to justify their actions, saying it sold such data in good faith that it would improve traffic safety and reduce bottlenecks. Yeah, right. Just apologize sincerely and customers might just want to give you a second chance, TomTom – but by taking the moral high ground even when you are the offending party, it reeks of insincerity and makes it harder to bridge the ever widening gap.