Apple culls skeezy Instagram stalking app designed to catch cheaters
Apple has removed an application used to creep on the activity of Instagram accounts, after protests from the Facebook-owned social media company.
The Like Patrol application, which is now gone from the App Store, made it possible for people to spy on Instagram users by notifying them whenever the account holder liked or commented on a post.
The app, which charged $80 a year, was billed as a means of helping those in relationships, and suspicious of their partners, monitor their use of the Instagram app (via CNET).
The app even promised to alert subscribers whether targeted accounts were interacting with posts with men or women. They even pledged an algorithm that could tell whether the the posts featured attractive people.
Effectively, it was a more intense version of Instagram’s own Following tab, which the app recently removed… and not before time. Instagram itself had served Like Patrol developers a cease and desist notice because for violating the data protection policy.
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A Facebook spokesperson had told CNET last month: “Scraping violates our policies, and we take action against companies who we find to be engaging in it. Like Patrol was scraping people’s data, so we are taking appropriate enforcement action against them.”
The company’s founder, Sergio Luis Quintero, who had previously described the app as the “Following Tab on steroids” had intended to fight the cease and desist order.
However, a couple of weeks on, Apple has moved to take down the application, which had little more than 300 subscribers when Instagram made the complaint. It wasn’t available on Android handsets and it’s unclear whether the developers are planning a launch on the platform.
Whether those few subscribers will be sad to see the app go by the wayside is unclear, but it’s easy to see why Apple has moved to strike Like Patrol from the App Store.