Tags: girls | around | app | withdrawn

Controversial App Pulled Amid Stalking Fears

Monday, 02 Apr 2012 03:30 PM

By Martin Gould

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A popular mobile phone app was pulled over the weekend amid fears that it was designed to allow stalkers to follow women.

“Girls Around Me” used data and pictures from Facebook and Foursquare to allow users to gain profiles of nearby women. The app showed who had posted that they had turned up at any venue with the logo “In the mood for love, or just a one-night stand? Girls Around Me puts you in control.”

Foursquare cut off access to the app’s Russian developer, I-Free on Saturday and then I-Free itself withdrew the app from Apple’s iTunes store saying the Foursquare decision rendered it useless, reports the Wall Street Journal.

But I-Free did not give in gracefully. In a statement to the Journal, the company said it was “unethical to pick a scapegoat to talk about the privacy concerns. We see this wave of negativity as a serious misunderstanding of the app’s goals, purpose, abilities, and restrictions.”

I-Free insisted that, despite “Girls Around Me’s” name, its purpose was to allow users to find nearby venues. The app had been downloaded more than 70,000 times, the Journal reported.



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