Facebook has just released a statement to Cult of Mac, saying that they are currently investigating the app. We hope to have more details shortly. – CultofMac
Aps are irresistible, but they are also insidious and if you’re a woman, something to watch.
Girls Around Me is a standard geolocation based maps app, similar to any other app that attempts to alert you to things of interest in your immediate vicinity: whether it be parties, clubs, deals, or what have you. When you load it up, the first thing Girls Around Me does is figure out where you are and load up a Google Map centered around your location. The rest of the interface is very simple: in the top left corner, there’s a button that looks like a radar display, at the right corner, there’s a fuel meter (used to fund the app’s freemium model), and on the bottom left is a button that allows you to specify between whether you’re interested in women, men or both. It’s when you push the radar button that Girls Around Me does what it says on the tin. … – CultofMac
John Brownlee of Cult of Mac broke the “Girls Around Me” ap story wide. Now we’ll see what Facebook does about it.
The story started here:
“Wait”¦ what? Are these girls prostitutes?” one of my friends asked, which given the Matrix-like silhouettes posing on the splash screen was a pretty good question.
“Oh, no,” I replied. “These are just regular girls. See this girl? Her name’s Zoe. She lives on the same street as me and Brittany. She works at a coffee shop, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t moonlight picking up tricks.”
“How does it know where these girls are? Do you know all these girls? Is it plucking data from your address book or something?” another friend asked.
“Not at all. These are all girls with publicly visible Facebook profiles who have checked into these locations recently using Foursquare. Girls Around Me then shows you a map where all the girls in your area trackable by Foursquare area. If there’s more than one girl at a location, you see the number of girls there in a red bubble. Click on that, and you can see pictures of all the girls who are at that location at any given time. The pictures you are seeing are their social network profile pictures.”
“Okay, so they know that their data can be used like this for anyone to see? They’re okay with it? “
“Probably not, actually. The settings determining how visible your Facebook and Foursquare data is are complicated, and tend to be meaningless to people who don’t really understand issues about privacy…
Fighting to retain the parts of our privacy that still exist is the biggest libertarian issue of our time.