Young adults who have grown up using digital navigations apps may wonder how their parents ever reached their destinations without Waze, Google Maps and other mapping apps. They make everything easy to find with just a few clicks of a button. Digital maps are known for their accuracy and precision, directing you through every turn from a satellite way off in the distance.
But what happens when the general public gains access to these digital maps? Like Wikipedia and other crowdsourcing sites, some digital maps rely on public input for real-time updates and information. If locations and directions can be altered by the public, drivers are left at risk of accidents based on misinformation.
Apps Subject to Malicious Hacking
Recent issues with widely-used digital maps show just how vulnerable users are to pranksters or hackers who intentionally upload incorrect information. Just this August, Snapchat users discovered that New York City had been given an anti-Semitic identity on the app’s main map. Prominent locations throughout the city also received nefarious new identities.
While these changes were highly offensive, they were not necessarily dangerous. Yet they demonstrate just how easily users can interfere with data. Snapchat, Runkeeper, and the Weather Channel all use a company called Mapbox for their inter-app maps. One source of information for these maps is something called OpenStreetMap, which allows users to input data at their own discretion.
This gap that allowed the racist edits to reach thousands of users is the same gap hackers could potentially use to change the locations of certain destinations, unwittingly rerouting users. Misleading information can be dangerous for drivers, leading them down incorrect and potentially dangerous paths.
In response to this safety question, execs for one company utilizing digital mapping say incidents of fraud are few and far between and that most inaccuracies are caught and rejected before ever reaching the public. Like most forms of technology, digital mapping is incredibly useful – and also incredibly vulnerable to misuse. Until crowdsource mapping is perfected and free from the potential for error, drivers will have to trust their mapping apps at their own risk.
Bad directions or misleading digital mapping apps are just one cause of serious car accidents in South Carolina. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and other negligent habits put millions of lives at risk every year. A single crash can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating for victims and their families. But help is available.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A Pursue Justice and Compensation for Injury Victims
The dedicated Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can help you get your life back after a serious car accident. We focus on the legal details of your claim, so you can focus on your physical recovery. Call 800-929-3600 or use the convenient online contact form to get started today.
We offer free consultation to injured accident victims and their families across South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.