Bribespot has developed a geolocation app that is unfortunately useful. It allows users to note attempts at bribery by public officials and pin it to a location.
An international outfit headquartered in Estonia, it is unsurprising that the Baltic country responsible for Skype would lead the score sheet so far, with the rest spread around the world. But it is less than a month old so the data is not thick on the ground yet. In time, though, it has the potential to be a very interesting and useful tool for everyone from travelers to policy makers.
In something of a reversal, the app is available only for Android at present. The iPhone version is being written currently. Users can also use the website to report corruption.
The app was developed and launched at the Garage48 startup competition in Tallinn, Estonia in April. Garage48 brings together people with different skills (software development, marketing, design, bizdev, etc.) to create new projects and companies. The team that built Bribespot includes people from Estonian, Lithuania, Finland and Iran.
The check-in stream is cringeworthy. In Lithuania, a utility enforcement official takes a 100 Euro payoff when a customer is found stealing power. In Kenya, a customs official threatens to block a person's luggage due to "excess number of shoes" and takes a 5 Euro bribe. In Goa, India, a scooter driver avoids a 30 Euro fine with the judicious application of 3 Euros to the cop who caught him.
The key to the reliability of these reports will be a combination of common sense and aggregation. Did someone really pay a 100 Euro fine in the U.S. state of Georgia to "Police/Military"? Maybe, but it would be more reliable if any details accompanied the accusation. However, if, over the next several months, a number of people report such experiences, it becomes a great deal more believable.
Currently the only analytic mechanism is a country/time frame pull-down. It will be interesting to see if the Bribespot team creates additional analytics tools to work the data as it aggregates.
Other sources: Springwise