Using check-in data from Foursquare, the Girls Around Me smartphone app dug up public Facebook data, exposing the names and photos of nearby women and pinpointing them on a map.
Foursquare revoked access to its geolocation services in response, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"The application was in violation of our API policy, so we reached out to the developer and shut off their API access," a Foursquare spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
However, the Russia-based developer, i-Free Innovations, said the controversy surrounding its app is unfounded.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the developer said it withdrew the app from the App Store but will continue to develop the app and "limit it to showing only public places and venues."
The developer said its app only revealed publicly-accessible Facebook and Foursquare data.
"[W]e believe it is unethical to pick a scapegoat to talk about the
privacy concerns," said i-Free.
"We see this wave of negative as a
serious misunderstanding of the apps' goals, purpose, abilities and
The largest concern of the app was that the women it tracked did not opt into the service and were unaware of it.
Do you use geolocation smartphone apps? Why or why not? Do you worry about your location privacy? Do you agree with the decision to withdraw the app? Let us know in the comments section below.
This survey is not scientific. Results are based on reader responses.
Tags: Science & Technology
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