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Waze Fell for Fake Data Planted by a Competitor, Lawsuit Alleges

A new lawsuit alleges that Waze was caught red-handed used fake mapping data designed purely to find data thieves.

by Nicholas Deleon
Sep 3 2015, 1:37pm

Image: Travis Wise/Flickr

Imagine you're in high school and you forgot to do last night's homework assignment for the hundredth time. So you ask the kid next to you, again, to "do you a solid" and let you copy his answers. Sure, he says, no problem. What a swell guy! Except that what you don't know is that he purposefully fed you incorrect answers, and now you look like quite the fool.

An Israeli company is alleging that Waze, the crowdsourced mapping company that Google bought for more than $1.3 billion in 2013, did basically the same thing.

The Israeli company, PhantomAlert, says in new lawsuit Waze lifted "points of interest" data that it had put together, and is therefore guilty of copyright infringement. PhantomAlert claims that this data was peppered with all sorts of incorrect information that was planted to help determine if any competitor was using this data.

And Waze's maps were full of this stolen data, PhantomAlert alleges. The company's CEO said in a statement that his dreams were "crushed" by the data theft and Waze's subsequent sale to Google.

The lawsuit is not only seeking monetary damages, but is also seeking an injunction against Google, which began integrating Waze data into Google Maps shortly after buying the company.

Google has not yet commented on the allegations.

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