updated 02:10 pm EDT, Sat March 31, 2012
Girls Around Me app gets tossed over privacy issue
A controversial iOS app has promptly been pulled and blocked over major legal and privacy concerns. Girls Around Me (App Store, no longer active) had advertised itself as using Foursquare check-ins and a Facebook sign-in to find nearby women who had recently checked in with publicly visible Facebook profiles. The app not only showed how to find them on Google Maps but encouraged the presumably male users to message and otherwise get in touch with these girls without their knowledge or consent.
i-Free hasn't mounted a formal defense against the claims, although it made the argument that the app could be flipped to look for men as well. All its marketing was still focused on finding women, and it required in-app purchases to buy "energy" to look for more.
While questionable, the app was technically using publicly available formats to get details that girls had volunteered themselves. It underscores the dangers of volunteering too much information online and of the importance of following smart practices to stay safe, such as checking in on Foursquare only as you leave. Questions also exist as to why the app was approved given Apple's sensitivity to privacy issues and the app's encouragement of potentially illegal activity. [via Cult of Mac]