A new creepy app was recently released, Girls Around Me.
Girls Around me used Foursquare check-in data to show girls (or guys) nearby and then used Facebook’s API to let users see all of their pictures and personal profiles. It encouraged people who were “in the mood or looking for a one-night-stand” to stalk away on its site.
Girls Around Me has since been removed from the App Store and Apple has not commented on it.
Foursquare also took immediate action. Before the app was banned by Apple, Foursquare yanked its API access from Girls Around Me saying,
We have a policy against aggregating information across venues using our API, to prevent situations like this where someone would present an inappropriate overview of a series of locations.
Facebook, on the other hand, was sluggish. When Foursquare revoked API access Facebook was still “investigating” the app. In a comment to Cult of Mac, Facebook merely warned users to adjust their settings. “Adjusting [your] user settings accordingly will stop these apps form stalking you before they start,” Cult of Mac was told.
While Foursquare took a stance to protect its users, Facebook left it to users to defend themselves, essentially placing the blame on them if they get stalked.
The developer of a controversial mobile app that used data from Facebook and Foursquare to reveal the location of nearby women defended its intentions Saturday after drawing a firestorm of criticism over privacy concerns.
The Russian app developer, i-Free Innovations, fired back with a strongly worded statement sent to The Wall Street Journal, calling it “unethical to pick a scapegoat to talk about the privacy concerns. We see this wave of negative as a serious misunderstanding of the apps’ goals, purpose, abilities and restrictions.”
I-Free said “Girls Around Me” only provides data that is publicly available on Foursquare and Facebook.