Sunday, June 23, 2013

New App Pays Users Who Agree to Snitch on Others - Please tell me this is a joke

I really need to find a walled compound for my new dwelling.  This is from Eamon Murphy at Daily Finance:

America has surveillance on the mind, thanks to unavoidable reminders that we're being monitored by both the government and corporations. And in Canada, a soon-to-debut mobile app is raising the specter of another level of observation: Called SpotSquad, it lets users report parking violations to the operators of private lots, in return for a portion of the fees paid by violators.

Chris Johnson, co-founder of the technology firm responsible for the app, told Fox News that SpotSquad could transition from private lots to public property, meaning users' reports would summon local law enforcement to write tickets or have vehicles towed. He even suggested that laws might be written to allow SpotSquad reports to generate actual citations, if the system works well enough in trials.

There's precedent for the authorities using this sort of smartphone-enabled citizen surveillance: Last fall, the Delaware Information and Analysis Center, a unit of the state police's Criminal Intelligence Section, offered an app enabling users to report people or activities that they deem suspicious. The Delaware Secretary for Safety and Homeland Security, Lewis D. Schiliro, called it "a quick and easy way for citizens to help us protect our communities." ...

But SpotSquad represents a different model. Rather than upload evidence of bad behavior, with the goal of causing embarrassment and (hopefully) deterrence, users will report offenders directly to the authorities for financial gain.