You know how it's totally cool and normal and appropriate to just show up somewhere because you know there's a girl there, at that very moment, who you think is cute, even if she doesn't happen to know you exist? Oh, wait. I think that's called stalking. And it's the premise behind the new iPhone app Girls Around Me.
The creepiest app I've personally ever heard of, Girls Around Me scans for women who have checked in on Foursquare. Once it finds ladies (who don't know you are a human being) in the area, it offers you their Facebook profiles, so you can have a whole lot to talk about when you show up where she is because you saw her picture on the Internet.
It should be noted the only connection between the app's users and these women is that they both use the Internet.
Stanford law lecturer Elizabeth Stark said, "This would be a very different application if it didn't link back to Facebook, which is the treasure trove of information. With that link, this app could easily be a 'let's stalk women' app."
Which, I can't really think of another usage for it.
The app's made by a Russian company called SMS Services O.o.o., and there's a good chance the app may not be around for too much longer since Foursquare has taken action against it.
Foursquare spokeswomen Laura Covington said, "This is a violation of our API policy, so we've reached out to the developer and shut off their API access." Regardless, one can still buy the app from the iTunes store.
As much backlash as the app has seen, it does point out the inherent danger of posting your location on the Internet. Information is information. Once it's in a public place, it can be used in whatever way people choose.
So be careful or carry this around.
Update: Girls Around Me continues to make headlines. The latest: after being dismissed, the developers are defending the app's creepy model.