TomTom data used for speed traps

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 TomTom – Europe’s largest satellite navigation maker – has admitted to selling traffic data to governments to compensate for a decrease in demand for the device.

National newspaper Algemeen Daglad reported that police had obtained the data from the government and used the information to set speed traps.

Chief executive Harold Goddijn emailed an apology which said the company sold the data in the belief it would improve safety or provide relief for traffic bottlenecks.

“We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it,” he wrote.

He said licensing agreements would “prevent this type of use in the future”.

TomTom had cut 2011 sales forecasts and reported weak first quarter earnings.

First quarter reports showed net profit of 11 million euro (£9.6 million), up from three million euro in the first quarter a year earlier. It also reported a 1% decline in sales of 265 million euro’s which was worse than expected.