'Stalker' app pulled after outcry

Posted by Kate Taylor

An app that allowed men to stalk women in their vicinity has been pulled from the iTunes store - although its developer says it can't see what all the fuss is about.

The Girls Around Me site used FourSquare check-in data and integrates it with publicly available Facebook information to show users women's names and photos.

"Girls Around Me gathers information from Foursquare and Facebook, processes it and displays it in an easily understandable format," says Russian developer i-Free Innovations.

"Girls Around Me displays user photographs and profiles, and also lets you contact them directly from the application. This makes it quicker and easier to find and meet people."

But FourSquare's now pulled its location services from the app, saying it violates a ban on the aggregation of data designed to prevent 'an inappropriate overview of a series of locations'.

i-Free has now removed the app from the iTunes store, as it's not much use without the FourSquare data - although it says it plans to alter it to show only public places and venues.

And it's given an (extremely long) statement to the Wall Street Journal defending the app.

"Girls Around Me shows to the user only the data that is available to him or her through his or her accounts in Foursquare, and gives the user nothing more than Foursquare app can provide itself (when you browse venues around you in Foursquare, you can see how many people checked in there and you can see their profiles and photos, even contacts and social networks profile)," it says.

"The aim of the app is to make the usage of this data more convenient and more focused on finding popular and crowded venues."