One of the most curious things about living in the 21st century, is that when people use computers to aggregate publicly available information into a usable format, the world plus dog seems to cry ‘Foul!’ and that’s certainly the case with the ‘Girls Around Me’ app from Russia. KitGuru pretends to be young/single/available and heads into app town to see what the fuss is about.
KitGuru is never certain why people volunteer to be tracked like cattle. It doesn’t appeal to us, but the +10 million people who are registered with social networking company Foursquare, love nothing more than letting the world know exactly where they are.
Picking up on humanity’s need to breed, a Russian developer called i-Free decided to create an app that uses Foursquare’s data to let other users know when girls were near them. By linking Foursquare data with information from Facebook, the i-Free app was able to put a picture of those girls on a map.
All of this can be done anyway, all the i-Free app did was to make the process simpler. That was enough to encourage around 70,000 downloads before the app was pulled and Foursquare cut off i-Free’s access to its data.
It was the simplification that Foursquare seems to object to. Foursquare claims that it was set up, primarily, to make it easier for businesses to present special offers to its users. The ability for single men to meet with single woman was an unwanted side effect. Apparently.
KitGuru says: You can ban all the weapons you want, but you can still walk into any branch of Ikea and buy enough knives to slaughter a town. The idea that accessibility automatically leads to crime is tenuous. Might have been smarter if Foursquare had asked its users “Do you want people to know where you are when you log into our service and say ‘Sure, tell people where I am'”.
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