There is a creepy iPhone application called Girls Around Me that uses Foursquare check-in data and Facebook to show you the location of nearby girls. From looking at the app, it is obvious that is a little creepy. I would like to assume that SMS Services O.o.o. made this app with the intention of it being used for fun, but the fact is, there are some bad people out there. An app like this is certain to find its way into the hands of such individuals.
Thankfully, Foursquare has decided to kill their API access, preventing the application from granting would-be stalkers the ability to track the location of females in their area.
Basically, the app would access Foursquare check-ins of females using Facebook profiles that were not set to private. You could boot up the app and it would show you a Google map with the location of all of the girls who have checked in recently in relation to your location. Of course, some of the blame falls on the individuals for not setting their Facebook profiles to private. However, some users may not even be aware of Facebook’s privacy settings. Perhaps that’s their own fault, but that does not make an app that gives stalkers and creepy people easy access a good thing.
In response to the situation, Foursquare said, “We have a policy against aggregating information across venues using our API, to prevent situations like this where someone would present an inappropriate overview of a series of locations.”
It is good to see Foursquare stepping up and realizing that while the users are putting the information out there by their own choice, having an application that uses that data for less than ethical means is not a good thing.
Do you think it was right of Foursquare to pull access to their API, or should developers be allowed to use Foursquare’s public data as they see fit?
Source: Cult of Mac