‘Girls Around Me’, the App which allows men to locate the nearest online women, has finally been taken out of commission, following public outrage.
The so-called ‘stalker App’ encourages people to sign on using their phones and then to track down girls in nearby locations who have logged on to Foursquare – a device where people can sign in to various places online.
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A person’s ‘sign-in’ is usually only seen by other people on their Facebook accounts, but ‘Girls Around Me’ leaves the format open for complete strangers to see a girl’s declaration of location.
Once the sign-in has been found, the link will also take the users to the girl’s profile page, where, if not privatised,they can see any personal details.
Russian developers of the App, SMS Services O.o.o. built the App in accordance with existing social network devices, and have, because of this, refuted claims that the process invades people’s privacy.
“We only use publicly available information that we retrieve from the Foursquare and Facebook APIs,” they explained.
“We process this information and display it on the screen of your phone. We have no access to your login details; they are stored on the Foursquare and Facebook servers. Authorisation is carried out on their side.”
Their argument is that all the information accessible to someone with the App is information that is open for anyone to see on Facebook anyway.
However, unless an individual stumbled across a certain girl’s profile – which is unlikely – it is doubtful as to whether a complete stranger would ever see the person’s online profile, let alone be directed to whoever’s physically nearest.
The developers see this all as a positive feature however, and maintain that despite its recent demise, it could have had an advantageous influence on dating and social conventions.
“Girls Around Me scans your surroundings and helps you find out where girls or guys are hanging out,” it says on their website. “You can also see the ratio of girls to guys in different places around you. Choose the best place to go, or even start meeting people directly from the app.”