Controversial Girls Around Me iPhone app pulled

Foursquare removes access to its check-in service following backlash

A controversial iPhone app, dubbed 'the stalker app' has been pulled from the App Store. Girls Near Me allowed users to track nearby people by plugging in Foursquare and Facebook check-ins

A location-based iPhone app, which allowed users to track girls (and guys) in their area has been voluntarily taken down by the developers following a huge backlash.

The Girls Around Me iPhone app was using publicly available Foursquare and Facebook check-in data to show the ratio of men to women in a certain area, including with profile pictures from those who show up on a live map.

The app, described by its creators as "a perfect complement to any pick-up strategy" also encouraged users to sent messages to strangers via Facebook and to "turn up at the venue armed with flowers and a winning smile to sweep that special girl off her feet."

Foursquare reacted to the "stalker app" by pulling access to its service, after fears that it was displaying the location of users who had simply checked in through Foursquare and Facebook and had no knowledge of the existence of this rather disturbing iPhone app.

Russian developer I-Free has now removed Girls Around Me from the App Store, but claimed the goals and restrictions of the app had been misunderstood.

"It is impossible to search for a particular person in this app, or track his|her location. The app just allows the user to browse the venues nearby, as if you passed by and looked in the window," a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.

However, the Cult of Mac website says it was able to track down a woman, find her full name, birthday, marital status, recent photos and more, simply by digging into to her Facebook and Foursquare profiles after finding her on the map.

Although the app has now been taken down, Girls Around Me once again highlights the perils of putting sensitive information, especially location-based information, on the internet for the world to see. It's only a matter of time before the next one comes along.

Via: PC World