Millions of people around the world start their day with a hot cup of java, coffee. For many people coffee is more than a drink you have in the morning, it’s a way of life, it’s a ritual. Coffee is the much needed kick starter to get the day going.
Companies, Starbucks and the like, have made their fortunes from fast coffee serving and having a reasonably pleasant place to sit, read a book, do a days work and to enjoy the free wifi.
I usually pay around $4 for a coffee, I think this is okay considering the café I go to is local. A nice place to do some work and socialise with friends. What’s a cup of coffee worth to you? $1, $4, $6?
The coffee business is big business that is constantly changing, and today its going free. Just like so many other businesses the core commodity is going to be free. Free coffee!
Ok this is only for students, and there’s another catch the café wants your personal data, swapping data for coffee – sounds better than Facebook at least! Some might think not, this is okay and some may really like it.
The company who is doing this is Enrission, a Japanese company. They are setting up cafés where they will swap you a coffee for your name, email address, phone number and what your studying at university.
Enrission want to offer career and studying support to students who sign up, they have 17 stores already operating in Japan, plus 5 in India and 5 in USA. All cafés are located on or near campuses and the general public cannot buy coffee from these cafes. Enrission say they don’t sell your data to third parties, let’s hope they stick to their word and not follow others.
At a first look this does seem like a new and inventive way of collecting data and whoever signs up should clearly understand the terms and conditions, you hand over X Y Z and in return you will get free coffee, seems harmless enough? If you visit Enrission website or do a small amount of research their business model is quite clear which helps people understand how their data will be used and is getting used.
This could be a start of a new trend, businesses who swap goods and services for your data. Is this a positive step forward? Maybe when you compare this model to companies who simply take your personal data either without you knowing or without you be able to get rewarded for the data they take.
Before signing up to anything that asks for your personal data make sure you understand the risks and how the company will use your data - cyber crime is on the rise!