Parking Douche: shame on the driver

Fri 25 May 2012 12:00, Tamara Yadvichuk

Parking Douche: shame on the driver

How many times have you encountered a car parked in a very annoying way? Well, Russians found a perfect way to shame those who had parked their vehicles disregarding the feelings of others: they made an app for that!

Those who haven’t been to Russia need to know that over there irresponsible parking is an issue far more serious than, say, in the Netherlands. Russian digital newspaper called The Village took this problem personally and created an Android app called Parking Douche which allows you to expose wrongly parked cars and shame their owners.

Here’s how it works:

  • You take a picture of the badly parked car
  • The app recognizes its number plate, make and color
  • The pic with the relevant info is shown as a pop-up banner on the sites of The Village and their partners
  • To remove the banner the user who sees it needs to share it on Facebook 

The cool thing about the app is that the banners exposing annoying cars are not shown to everyone: they are targeted by IP-address to the location where the vehicle is parked. It means that the pop-up will be seen only by people who live or work nearby, possibly including the owner of the car in question together with his friends or colleagues.

This creative app serves as another example of the unusual bottom-up way of solving traffic problems in Russia: remember the app called Roads of Russia from last month which marks broken roads on an interactive map?

One question comes to mind:  Doesn’t Parking Douche  violate any privacy laws? On the one hand, the app only shares publicly available info – anyone who saw a badly parked car could see its number, make and color. On the other hand, if it turns out that ‘social shaming’ leads to actual damage to the vehicle, the app creators may encounter a lot of problems with angry car owners.

We’ll see what happens… Meanwhile, here’s a video introducing Parking Douche and showing how it works. Wouldn’t you like to have an app like that?

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