The Shortlived Stalker App

“Girls Around Me” was an app in the iTunes store, but it ain’t no mo.

The app, designed by a Russian developer, i-Free Innovations was to allow users to know when women are in their vicinity and information about them.  Using information they gathered from Foursquare and Facebook API’s, the app presented user photos, profiles about women near them and allowed them to access them directly from the app.  “It makes it easier to find and eat meet people.”

Obviously Foursquare wanted nothing to do with this and pulled access to their data from the app, claiming it violates a ban on the aggregation of data designed to prevent ‘an inappropriate overview of a series of locations’.  The app was pulled from iTunes shortly thereafter.

The developer wrote a rather lengthy defense of the app to the Wall Street Journal that you can read for yourself.  In it he points out that the app only used information that was publicly available from other sources and that there was nothing anonymous about it.  Claiming it had already been downloaded “70,000 times…nobody ever raised a privacy concern “.

Certainly their marketing of the app didn’t help.

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