Report: Foursquare shuts off API for Girls Around Me app

An app that employed Foursquare and Facebook data to show the real-time location of women has raised an uproar and is making people think about how social media exposes them.

The Girls Around Me app showed the location of women near users of the app, in real time. Screenshot by CNET

The tagline is "In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand? Girls Around Me puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who's in them, and how to reach them..."

For a lot of people, this sounds like an app made in heaven, but the fact that the service used Foursquare and Facebook data to automatically pinpoint the location of specific women near users has even more people freaking out, writes Cult of Mac.

Now, in response to the uproar about the app, Foursquare has apparently shut down the app's access to its API, meaning it will likely no longer work, reports The New York Times.

But as pointed out by The Next Web, "What's particularly interesting about this app is that it isn't doing anything but accessing data that is already given away by users. [Still] the thing is, these girls more than likely never wanted any such information to be accessible at all, but never realized how much they are putting themselves at risk."

The lesson here is that more than ever, people using social media--especially apps that broadcast their location--need to think about the implications of telling the world where they are. Is that something they really want? Many people may decide that the benefits outweigh the risks. What Girls Around Me shows is that utilized in specific ways, apps can surface information that can be used by people with, shall we say, less than the most altruistic intentions.

And when an app directly supports that sort of thing, it may well influence people's decisions about just how much information they want the world to know about themselves.

 

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