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Many tech-savvy motorists are probably familiar with navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze on their smartphones. These apps help get us to our destination when the map in our brains aren’t updated well enough. However, according to Tenom MP Datuk Raime Unggi, these apps are a threat to our national security as it gives foreign countries like the US and Israel information about Malaysia.

In a report by The Star, Raime was speaking in Parliament, claiming that Malaysians’ increasing usage such apps is of a grave concern. The Malay Mail 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.”

He was supported by Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim. “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. Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Jailani Johari responded to the MPs’ claims by stating that these navigation apps are not perceived as a threat to national security because they are user-based.

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Jailani stated that the apps had terms and conditions put in place by the app provider, and as such requires the individual to agree to them before they use the app. Moreover, Jailani said Google Maps and Waze information was generated from their user base. “The real issue is that our users are fond of over-sharing private information on the internet. This results in the information being misused. As a smart internet user, we should have our own controls,” the Hulu Terengganu MP said.

“If the user ends up over sharing personal data online, then the data is likely to be abused. The Government cannot take the sole blame for this,” he said. In his response, Jailani also said that the National Security Council (NSC) can look into reviewing these navigation apps if the MPs are very concerned on the matter.

With these claims put forth by the MPs, what are your thoughts on the matter? Are navigations apps like Google Maps and Waze a threat to national security? Will you stop using said apps? Let us know in the comments section below.