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Dodgy Girls Around Me app gets pulled, blocked by Foursquare

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 Girls Around Me (App Store, no longer active) had advertised itself as using Foursquare check-ins and a Facebook sign-in to find nearby women who had recently checked in with publicly visible Facebook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.

The app saw its active use effectively blocked off first through Foursquare, which said Russian developer i-Free was violating its programming interface's terms of use and had its access closed off. Apple itself has pulled Girls Around Me from the App Store, and Facebook was investigating the app's privileges.

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]

By Electronista Staff


  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    I wonder if this was really pulled because the information usually culled by "business associates" is put into the hands of individuals. I'd still prefer the advertisers have the info, though... :P

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001


    Dodgy Girls Around Me?

    I was wondering how the app knew the dodgy girls from non-dodgy girls.

  1. Raman

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2001



    If you think this is creepy then imaging what FB and 4Square are doing with your information that you provide to them for free. Creepy apps like this at least make people aware that this information exists out there and is *already* being used by the social networks.

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