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Daily Talker: Should The Federal Government Regulate Smartphone Map Apps?

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More and more people are using mapping programs on smartphones to help them get around and to avoid traffic jams. Now federal regulators say they want some oversight over these apps.

According to the New York Times, the Transportation Department is asking Congress for this authority, saying it already oversees navigation aids. Language in a new transportation bill would allow the government to set restrictions on apps, and order changes if regulators determine they are unsafe, in the same way mechanical features are regulated.

Many automakers support the move, having already complied with guidelines for built-in navigation systems that limit the amount of time needed for a driver to interact with the software. But technology companies are fighting the plan, saying the law would be impractical and impossible to enforce since there are so many navigation apps for sale, and the industry changes so quickly.

Should the Transportation Department regulate navigational apps that people use while driving? Or does it have no business getting involved in smartphone technology? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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