When I first saw the headline for this Glamour piece, I have to admit, my mind jumped to all kinds of dystopian conclusions: Love-gloves with a built-in nanochip that automatically activates when the rubber gets used, and spills all the dirty deets of your deed to a breathlessly waiting Internet? Hey, it could happen. But by the sounds of this, it ain’t happening yet…luckily:
Discovery News reports that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has distributed 55,000 condoms around local colleges and universities that feature implanted QR codes, which track when and where people have sex. The reported data is then collected on a website called WhereDidYouWearIt.com.
It’s sort of the Foursquare of sex: each condom has a barcode which the user can scan with their Smartphone to upload their location as well as general details of their sexual experience (anonymously). An unconventional way to promote public health? Yes. But it does sound kind of fun, right?
A rep for Planned Parenthood says of the check-in system: “Condoms are an essential tool in preventing unintended pregnancy and stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV… We hope the site promotes discussions within relationships about condoms and helps to remove perceived stigmas that some people may have about condom use. Where Did You Wear It attempts to create some fun around making responsible decisions.”
Unfortunately, my idea of making condom use fun involves lots of kissing and no telling. And I somehow doubt that this sort of thing would stay fully anonymous very long. If it’s on the Internet, it can be hacked. It’s probably even easier to do with this, given how notoriously leaky smartphones are, data-wise. And do you really want to advertise it, in a world already inundated with advertising?
Didn’t think so.