This Japanese company wants to buy the privacy of the unemployed…for $2000

One Japanese company wants to buy the privacy of the unemployed, but they’re just curious, they swear.

 

 

Move over, Universal Basic Income – a Japanese company wants the unemployed to trade their privacy for money.

Project Exograph is a frightening new social experiment that entails those participating to let Plasma install cameras throughout their homes with absolutely zero blind spots except for bathrooms. These cameras will record everything the participants do for the next month in return for 200,000 yen – the equivalent of $1,830USD, or $2,676 AUD, and about 50% more than what they would otherwise receive as welfare.

The footage will then be anonymised by Plasma to protect the identities of the participants and eventually used in talks between it, other companies and experts to determine how the footage can be monetised.

The talks would be purely theoretical – Plasma isn’t looking to sell the footage, rather, looking to find out how valuable this type of content/data would be to buyers.

The idea behind the project is that companies are already purchasing people’s data left by their digital footprint, so Plasma wants to see how the market values the “real-life” data points of an individual. 

 

The talks would be purely theoretical – Plasma isn’t looking to sell the footage, rather, looking to find out how valuable this type of content/data would be to buyers.

 

Plasma’s Executive Director and founder, Hiroki Enno, told a Japanese newspaper that “If artificial intelligence (AI) and robots see progress, then people won’t have to work and they could lead lives where they provide data for money. Considering that, we set the amount of money based on the sum required to maintain a healthy and minimum level of living.”

Not surprisingly, the project has been met with waves of backlash. Apart from it obviously teetering on the edge of an ethical dilemma, the initial plan was to pay participants only 132,930 yen ($1,778 AUD) leading some to call out Plasma for exploiting the poor and some questioned whether or not the company was suggesting those receiving welfare payments weren’t entitled to their human rights. 

Still, there hasn’t been a shortage of those willing.

As of November, 10,500 people had reportedly applied to participate in the program.

 

 

 

 

 

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