Jew or Not Jew? There’s an App for That

Is Steve Jobs Jewish?Want to know if someone is Jewish? There’s an app for that.

The Apple Store France will let you download the French app “Juif ou pas juif” – or “Jew or not Jew” – to look up such important questions for 79 euro cents. The anti-racism group SOS Racisme says it’s not only offensive, but illegal in France (which prevents someone’s personal information, including religion, from being publicly available; and stop-gap measure in the wake of the Holocaust).

France, meet the Internet. My big question is why anyone would bother buying this app when a quick googling will tell you the same information. There must be better Jewish apps out there. I’m a terrible capitalist, but this might be one case where I think the market will take care of the problem.

I appreciate the sentiment behind this law, but I wonder if this isn’t simply a case of the law not catching up with technology. Pragmatically, it’s a moot point. The information is already public.

The product of a Jewish developer, he claims the app is meant to demonstrate pride in those who are Jewish and in the public sphere. Of course, it is unclear from where he gets his information on religious affiliations, and certainly just because it’s meant for pride-related reasons doesn’t mean others couldn’t use it for less positive purposes. But then again, anyone who wants of a list of Jews doesn’t need an app to get that information. They just need access to the Internet.

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