App raises privacy concerns
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
New apps are being added to iTunes, that have recently gotten creepier. In social media news, the issue of an app tracking women around you, who willingly choose to publicly display information such as location, pictures, thoughts, and beliefs on Facebook and Foursquare, has caused mass amounts of controversy.
With this type of information being so easily accessible, many have raised the issue that the app has made the practices of stalking much easier.
Several other people have expressed mixed feelings towards the app, saying that there are far creepier apps out there. Others display no sensitivity to the women that pop up because they feel that they are allowing themselves to be found when they post such things on their social media sites.
The Russian app developer, i-Free, defended itself in a statement to “The Journal.” “‘Girls Around Me’ does not provide any data that is unavailable to the user when they use his or her social network account, nor does it reveal any data that users did not share with others.”
Foursquare immediately took the situation into their own hands after several statements were made raising concern and privacy issues. Laura Covington, who is the spokeswoman for Foursquare stated, “This is a violation of our API policy, so we’ve reached out to the developer and shut off their API access.”
Other apps, such as Stalqer, have been around since 2009 and have not raised as much controversy as this Russian app. Stalqer allows users to geo-locate their “friends” using information collected through various social media sites that their friends have.
What is the difference between the two you may ask? The main difference between the two is that “Girls around Me” provides a much more sexualized approach to locating women, with curvy women being displayed at the startup of the app. It is a tool that could be used for hooking up not just locating your friends.
Apps such as these should create awareness for everyone. Be very careful what you allow to be posted about you and your personal life online. This is not the first creepy app, and it will not be the last. Much of your data is already being collected and should cause concerns of individual privacy loss.