Thanks to the ruckus surrounding “Girls Around Me,” we now know how easy it is for apps and other services to repackage our personal data for disturbingly creepy ends. The Girls Around Me app might be the latest report to blow up in a big way over this issue, but it certainly hasn’t been the first. Here are the top 10 creepiest apps and services we’ve heard of in the past few months.
Girls Around Me was an iOS app that leveraged Foursquare data to detect women who checked into a user’s neighborhood. Dropping their pictures as pins on a Google map, the app let its users leisurely peruse a directory of local ladies, and after they picked one who piqued their interest, they could tap on her picture to connect to her Facebook account, see her full name and profile pictures, or even message her within the app.
Although Russian-based app developer i-Free has contended that it hasn’t done anything wrong -- all of the data it was dishing out to users was unrestricted information, voluntarily provided by Facebook and Foursquare users -- the app’s stated goals and purpose have been suspect to say the least. “In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand?” the official website reads. “Girls Around Me puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who’s in them, and how to reach them…”
Since news of the creepy service broke, Foursquare cut off the API access that the app relied upon to function, prompting developers to pull the product from the iTunes Store.