New 'Girls Around Me' app highlights privacy failures

Credit: flickr/Nimrod Zaphnath

Linking Foursquare and Facebook allows app to pin photos to nearby map locations. Creepy is the most polite word.

Pull out your phone, hit a button, and in a few seconds, photos of "girls" nearby pop up. Tap the photo, and the Facebook profile for that girl appears. You can even message the girl via her Facebook profile, assuming you like the photos, of say, her trip to the beach, and her partying with friends. If she lists her hometown, school, and birthday, you have plenty of "ammunition" to start a conversation.

The firestorm of protest caused Foursquare to disable the data collection link, iTunes to stop selling the app, and the developer to claim they have been made a scapegoat. Their app was downloaded mover than 70,000 times, they say, and they included nothing that was not publicly viewable on social networks. They claim some people really liked the app. Wonder what kind of people?

Downright creepy

it's not vomiting the data of the men just the women. Funny how that works. So, you know, the app remains creepy and stalkerish.

larissa97 on cnet.com

It wasn't broke so why fix it? But Nooooooo you got to WRITE about it!

dekard on cultofmac.com

I hate to say it but it's usally creepy men who can't get a girlfriend who will be chasing after good looking women, even to their homes which could be disastrous.

Lesley on dailymail.co.uk

People posted the info

May be non-technically savvy people should not publish their locations on Twitter/Foursquare to the public. It is not this app's fault, its the brainless users that do that.

albatman on cnet.com

If people don't want their information stored on a publicly searchable database I would wholeheartedly advise not entering their data into the database.

Andrew on dailymail.co.uk

An application platform syngergizing location APIs, dating and social media? This guy needs to find some venture capitalist funding!

web2point0guy on cultofmac.com

Blame

I'm disappointed (but not surprised) that Apple let this into the app store in the first place.

EmmaGeraln on cultofmac.com

This is a tragedy and lawsuit waiting to happen.

Hojo on dailymail.co.uk

It absolutely should be pulled, it's horribly sexist.

phineas on cultofmac.com

Using the term "girls" makes it sound stalker-ish immediately. Would "Women Around Me" have been condemned as quickly? What about male and female check-ins titled "Friends Around Me?"

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