While you were busy worrying about the NSA spying on you, artist -slash- software developer Lauren McCarthy made an app called Crowdpilot. It lets everybody spy on you.
Actually, Crowdpilot is a little more specific than that. The basic idea behind the iPhone app is to let people listen in on your phone calls so that they can offer you advice on what to say next.
It’s up to you to decide whether these eavesdroppers are your Facebook friends, total strangers, total strangers that get paid a dollar to listen through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program, or any combination of those options. You specify what kind of conversation it is — date, argument, meeting, etc — and the listeners can text you words of encouragement while you’re on the phone. Download it here.
What a handy app! Also, holy crap, what an insanely easy way to violate some people’s privacy. Of course, Crowdpilot encourages you to tell the person on the other end of the line that they’re being listening to. But can you really imagine starting off a phone call with a date by saying, “Oh by the way, I hired a bunch of strangers to listen in on this call and give me advice on what to say.”
For McCarthy, it’s all one big social experiment. She’s not even making any money off the app which, I must admit, is very well designed. “Will it make us more connected or turn us into total robots? We’re trying to make people directly confront these questions,” she told Forbes. “Maybe you’ll think it’s terrifying. Or maybe you’ll find it’s actually it’s kind of wonderful and fun. And where does that leave you?”