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This App Might Freak You Out

The tech journolist, Robert Scoble posted this to his Google+ page last week.  He calls it “freaky” in what this app can do… It’s called PlaceMe and its a free, new app that just might make you wonder what and who is capable of finding out stuff about you. If a free app can do this, well, what can the Smoking Man-type do?

PlaceMe runs in the background of your iPhone or Android and track and record every location you visit and collect a massive amount of data about your travels for that day.  It uses every sensor in you phone to monitor all kinds of info. Here’s a list that Robert posted.

1. Where you live.
2. Where you work.
3. Your route to work (it can tell you’re driving).
4. What church you go to, or if you go at all.
5. What strip club you go to and just how excited you are (seriously!)
6. What gas station you stop at. It also knows how many miles you have to drive before you have to get more gas.
7. Whether you are walking or running or just standing still.
8. Whether you just got in a car wreck.
9. What your favorite restaurants are and what kind of food you both like and hate.
10. What kinds of things are you likely to have bought inside stores, or at least the departments you visited.

Here’s a video Robert posted with the developer of the app. It’s long but an interesting watch.

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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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