Popular mapping app Waze is being sued by PhantomAlert, a company that provides similar services. Both apps share information about points of interests on maps, but it is being alleged that Waze stole its data from the competition.
The story began back in 2010, where Waze was operating as an independent service. The Israeli based team approached PhantomAlert to share mapping information, but was declined due to Waze’s lack of data to share. It was later discovered that Waze had simply copied the publicly available information from PhantomAlert, and has been used by the service for the last few years.
PhantomAlert cites the fact that Waze has also included points of interests that were fabricated by the company to identify stolen information. This technique isn’t new, as map makers from across history would commonly insert fake locations into their maps to identify plagiarists; and it looks like Waze may have fallen into the trap.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages against Waze, and parent company Google, as well as injunctions against the defendants. Google may not be very happy if the allegations against he company it only recently bought for US$1 billion turns out to be true. Especially since the company already has one of the most complete map databases in the world.