Was the Girls Around Me app the apex of creepy?
There was an astounding amount of backlash against the Girls Around Me app, and rightfully so. The app developers argued that since they were using public information they weren’t doing anything wrong. Women were indeed sharing their locations publicly and weren’t practicing due diligence. But just because the information is out there, doesn’t mean it should be aggregated in such a sexist way.
Why is that app sexist and not just creepy? Because the developer explains that the purpose of the app was to find hot women around you. And here I thought it was just so you could avoid sausage fests.
This is where Foursquare drew the line and revoked access to their API. Girls Around Me attempted to shift the purpose of location sharing from innocuous check-ins to potential targets of stalking. Facebook’s reaction? They advised people to adjust their privacy settings.
Obviously app makers have some responsibility for protecting their users, but some of the burden is shouldered by users. People do care about privacy but I know they’re probably like me and can be lazy about policing it. There are essentially three options for location sharing:
a. Be extra diligent with privacy settings in the multitude of apps that you use, ensuring that settings are exactly what they should be and reviewing these settings any time the app developers makes changes.
b. Don’t post your location on the Internet, EVER
c. Use Glassboard and not worry about it. Only people that are members of a board can see your location.
Posted by Jenny Blumberg
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