The location data-reliant application for the iPhone ‘Girls Around me’ has been lambasted by both Facebook and Foursquare for accessing the data of the two websites without first seeking out their permission. As a result of this, the app has been removed from the App Store and i-Free, the developer of the app, is trying to work out the legal details of the problem.
The app basically helps an iPhone user locate any friends or associates who are in the surrounding area. This is done by detecting their GPS check-ins. The tricky part is that i-Free has been making use of data from both Facebook and Foursquare to detect the check-ins and display the map to the user. And now that the two networks know about this, they don’t like the fact that they weren’t asked about it first.
Naturally, Facebook and Foursquare’s legal teams have registered their complains and ‘Girls Around Me’ has been removed from the App Store, for now. i-Free, on the other hand, believes that they have nothing wrong and all this is just a ‘serious misunderstanding.’ According to i-Free, ‘We see this wave of negative as a serious misunderstanding of the apps’ goals, purpose, abilities and restrictions. Girls Around Me does not provide any data that is unavailable to user when he uses his or her social network account, nor does it reveal any data that users did not share with others.’
Also, this skirmish doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the developer as it is planning a re-release of the app which will make use of only such data which is provided at ‘public venues.’ Moreover, i-Free is also working on an Android version of the app.