App helps you stay out of the hood, you know, unless you live there.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: January 14th, 2012
Microsoft has rolled out GPS that uses varied and up-to-date crime data in order to create supposedly safer suggested routes. It will come loaded onto Windows Phones in the future. Not surprisingly, the feature has already drawn criticism from those who say that the GPS's "avoid the ghetto" trick is insulting to poor neighborhoods and even racist.
While it's not noted which kind of crime statistics the GPS will pull to use, it's safe to say there are a few reasons why this won't really work. First, physical assaults are a different sort of crime than robberies, but both are obviously still considered crime, and would show up in a search. Thing is, getting mugged on the street is not the same as someone breaking into a home. If the GPS tells you to avoid places where burglaries are common, you might be unnecessarily avoiding decent neighborhoods—no one's breaking into a house to steal a 13" tube TV, right?
Further, the first time someone uses the GPS' avoid-the-ghetto as a means to actually avoid the "ghetto" and gets robbed, shot, assaulted, or raped, Microsoft will have a hefty lawsuit on its front door. What's worse is that some people can only avoid bad neighborhoods to a certain point. For example, where we're located, all it takes is a few blocks to go from gentrified and "safe" to 8-foot security fences. If you happen to live past those 8-foot fences, you still have to walk past them, right? Right.
So, how helpful can an "avoid the ghetto" GPS be? It's hard to say. We'll stick to our usual methods of not walking alone in dark, strange neighborhoods and not flashing around our smart phones and iPods.
[Source, Photo: CNET]