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After a barrage of negative press and user complaints, the creepy Girls Around Me app this week was formally removed from the iTunes App Store. One still questions how it ever got there in the first place.
Here's the background.
Girls Around Me, an app that up until just recently displayed foursquare check-in information of women within a user’s proximity, illustrated how privacy increasingly takes a backseat to social connectivity.
The app is blatant about its purpose right within its Developer’s Notes.
This foursquare-based tool helps you SEE WHERE NEARBY GIRLS ARE CHECKING IN, and shows you what they look like and how to get in touch! You can also search for guys or see who’s hanging out at a particular place.
The app is so easy to use: search for girls or guys, browse the map and press scan to begin scanning the area for recent check-ins! See where people are spending this evening. Look at the photo and decide whether to seek out someone new at a nearby venue or play it cool by showing your interest via Facebook!
The app, which was developed by Russia-based SMS Services O.o.o., basically let guys prey upon women who don’t restrict their privacy settings on Facebook. While it is incumbent upon all users to understand the tradeoff between privacy and connectivity, one wonders how this app was allowed into the App Store in the first place.
Credit The Cult of Mac for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention.