Go read this report on an app that turns intelligence gathering into gig work


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Smartphones helped popularize the modern gig economy, and a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests some companies like Premise have found a new way to take advantage of workers trying to make extra money — turning them into unwitting spies for corporate and military clients.

As Journal reporter Byron Tau writes, Premise was originally started “to register prices in the developing world and help its customers better understand the needs of the population.” But the company reportedly found even more success having contributors perform TaskRabbit and Mechanical Turk-esque work like completing surveys, taking photos of locations, and walking specific paths, while occasionally scooping up information about nearby Wi-Fi networks and…

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