posts about or somewhat related to ‘girls around me’

Say you’re using a restaurant search app, and you’re aware that it’s using your GPS location to help find businesses near you. You’re OK with that. But perhaps the app doesn’t also tell you that it’s using your location for another purpose: to help advertisers better create a profile of you for targeted advertising.

Christina Bonnington on How Location-Based Apps Can Stave Off the ‘Creepy Factor’

FJP: Related is our post last week on the creepy app, Girls Around Me. Foursquare since revoked access to its API and the app was removed from the app store by its developers…for now.

The Big Question: What can be done to make users feel more comfortable sharing their information, especially when secondary uses of data (that are seemingly unrelated to an app’s functionality) remain unknown.

Bonnington suggests:

Thus, transparency and user control are key to keeping an app from coming across as untrustworthy or creepy. Developers already have the tools to make sure users are aware of geolocation features in apps, and it’s incumbent on them to use them.

Mobile devices could also employ “ambient notice” features to let users know when location data is being shared. For example, when you’re using your iPhone’s compass, you can see the phone’s arrow symbol and know your device is currently using that feature. Similar signposting could be used for location services. (via Wired)


Girls around our office in NYC.

These Are Girls Around Me (literally).

First answer these:

1. Is your Facebook page public?
2. Do you use Foursquare?

Then you’re probably game for search results on the app Girls Around Me, a geolocation based maps app that alerts you to girls (or guys) around you, based on your location. Using foursquare check-ins, the app finds girls in your neighborhood, and pulls their Facebook profile information for your viewing pleasure.

We tried it out and found these girls (above) around our office in NYC. It’s a little bit horrifying but a perfect example to consider the question we raised yesterday: how to decide what is public/private on Facebook and Twitter. Twitter seemed fair-game for pulling information from public tweets. But Facebook, once again, is complicated.

How many people actually bother to change their privacy settings when doing it seems so complicated?

via Cult of Mac:

Girls Around Me isn’t an app you should use to pick up girls, or guys for that matter. This is an app you should download to teach the people you care about that privacy issues are real, that social networks like Facebook and Foursquare expose you and the ones you love, and that if you do not know exactly how much you are sharing, you are as easily preyed upon as if you were naked. I can think of no better way to get a person to realize that they should understand their Facebook privacy settings then pulling out this app.

FJP: Now, if you want to make your Facebook private: Here is some help.

Photos: screenshots from the FJP’s trial run of the app.