Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reduce Your Your Slavery Imprint? There's An App For That

Reduce Your Your Slavery Imprint? There's An App For That

Oh man, I know what I want to do the moment that I get my iPhone 5. I'm going to go rush out and get this app that will tell me exactly how much slave labor has been put into the things I use everyday.
How much 'forced labor' fuels your lifestyle?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Was your smartphone made in a sweatshop? Were those diapers made by slaves? Were children in another country forced to put that stitching in your designer jeans?

Consumers will be able to find out after the debut Thursday of a new app and website that measure the forced labor in everyday products.

Created by the U.S. State Department and a watchdog group, the free app and website will make consumers aware of their "slavery imprint."

"This is a new way to create awareness about the issue of modern slavery and empower consumers," said Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. "If we can do carbon footprints, why not slavery footprints?"

Call + Response, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending modern slavery, partnered with CdeBaca's office a year ago and received funding from the State Department to develop the products.

Forced labor is a situation where anyone is forced to work without pay, said Justin Dillon, Call + Response's president.

The "slavery footprint" app and survey will be available at, at 12 a.m. Thursday.

The survey asks users 11 lifestyle questions. These include: Where do you live? What's in your medicine cabinet? What's in your closet? What gadgets do you own? How much jewelry do you own? Also, have you ever paid for sex?

Afterwards the survey uses a formula based on where the raw materials in the products come from and where the finished products are made, and then assigns a "slavery footprint" score.

Some results: 9 people or "slaves" were used to mine rubies in jewelry; 3.1 individuals were used to make bikes; 1.9 to make diapers; .9 to make cotton T-shirts, and 3.2 to make a smartphone.

Nine is very high, while .9 is low, said Dillon. The ideal number, though, is zero, he added.

"We're not naming any brands because the idea right now is to inform consumers about forced labor behind everyday products and not to put brands on the spot," Dillon said.

Eventually, subsequent versions of the "slavery footprint" tools will allow consumers to enter specific brands.

With the slavery footprint app, the user can snap a photo of a product and send a message to the company inquiring about its position on forced labor. The app also leverages social networks, like Facebook and its "check-in" feature, which automatically lets stores know that the user wants a slavery-free product.
Are you feeling alienated from the product of your labor? There's an app for that..

First off let me say that I'm sick of the word "app". It's not any more hip than saying application. Sure you sound a little less like a dork,nerd or dweeb, but the point is the same - You sound fucking stupid. But the same time that I'm sick of the word App, I'm also sick of slavery, I guess. So perhaps this app sounds really cool...

I'll have to buy an iPhone and check it out! I wonder if it also list the average number of iPhone makers who killed themselves per iPhone made. Talk about liberalism.

Ironically enough I'm sure the moment you get an iPhone, you become a slave to smartphones. I mean, when I'm starving for some grub I know that I want to look up which fast food joint around me has the smallest slavery footprint.

I wonder if you manually set the time period coverage from AD1500 to present, your smartphone will just spew out an unending fountain of blood before committing suicide. But even if you don't set it to such a wide range of time, if it doesn't say 100% for everyone everywhere that capitalism exist, you might as well throw it away as the programmer fucked up somewhere along the way of setting it.

The comments to this piece are also pretty terrible.
HeroicSlug, 1 minute ago
Oh my gods. I care so hard about this. {/sarcasm} Life in other countries is crappy, we get it. Stop trying to make me feel guilty, mainstream media.

topgod, 4 minutes ago
love stuff made by slaves. cheap

topgod, 3 minutes ago in reply to topgod
who wants to pay 30 times for union workers to make the same products?

GQP2, 5 minutes ago
Not even going to look. Don't care even a little bit. I'll continue to buy whatever I want, period.

devilsevil, 42 minutes ago
Yeah, I buy the sweatshop stuff, and I don't care. It saves me money. So what?
I bet the best way this app will be used is just by a bunch of yuppies who run over to Whole Foods to scan bar codes with their phones and see who can come up with the biggest slave-o-meter score card.

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