Will Insurance Companies Tie Rates to Rage?

July 7, 2020

The community-driven navigation app Waze, owned by Google, has refreshed its design. The company changed up the color scheme, logos, icons, and typeface—the sort of tweaks one would expect to keep users engaged. One particular change, however, is more intriguing. Engadget reveals, “Waze Lets Drivers Display their Moods in the App.” That could prove to be very useful information for some advertisers, individuals, and government entities. Writer Christine Fisher reports:

“Waze is also adding something called Moods, a feature that will ‘capture users’ emotions.’ ‘Celebrating the passion and authenticity of its users, Waze hopes that the update will harness the “humanness” that can often be lost within inhumane traffic conditions,’ the company wrote in a press release. It’s unclear if Moods will be shared with nearby Waze users. Letting other drivers know how you feel doesn’t necessarily sound like a great idea, but for the most part the Mood icons look too cute to induce serious road rage. ‘Hopefully our new look reminds users of the magic of our community and the way we work together for better,’ said Jake Shaw, head of creative at Waze.”

The icons are indeed very cute, we’ll give them that, and touting the “magic of community” sounds delightful. But giving away even more personal data seems like a bad idea to those of us who understand how various entities can use seemingly benign personal details. Founded in 2007, Waze is based in the San Francisco Bay area. Google bought the company for $966 million in 2013.

Cynthia Murrell, July 7, 2020


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