What? Navigation apps Waze and Google Maps a threat to national security?
According to some members of the Malaysian Parliament, yes.
Tenom MP Datuk Raime Unggi raised concerns about nagivation apps in the Parliament today (Thursday, 26th November), claiming that Malaysians’ increasing usage of Google Maps and Waze indirectly provided information about Malaysia to external quarters such as the US and Israel.
TMO quoted him as saying:
Malaysians are very dependent on Google Maps and Waze for location searching and this has indirectly provided information about Malaysia to external quarters such as the United States and Israel, and it could lead to external threats.
Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim added on to Raime’s statement, saying that Malaysia cannot compromise on national security.
“How far do we have laws that prevent information leaks in the usage of Google and Waze? Are there laws to make sure national security protected in the usage of such apps?” Irmohizam questioned in Parliament.
However, according to a The Star Online report, Malaysian Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari was quick to respond, stating that Google Maps and Waze are not perceived as threats to national security because they are user-based apps.
He added that the applications had privacy policies, which were agreed upon by an individual and the application provider. It was up to users to decide how much personal information they wished to share and that they could choose to stop using the apps if they disagreed with the privacy policies.
“However, if the MPs are very concerned about this matter, then the National Security Council (NSC) can look into reviewing these navigation apps,” he said in response to Datuk Raime Unggi.
Google Maps and Waze a threat to national security? We could’ve never fathomed such conclusion. What do you guys think, though?