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Apple pulls Instagram stalking app Like Patrol from the App Store

Like Patrol traced user activity without consent

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Instagram users can rest easy. Apple has removed the stalkerish app Like Patrol from the App Store. Like Patrol violated several data collection policies to allow users to keep track of another user’s activity right down to their follows and likes without their consent.

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The description of Like Patrol ran, “New guy? New girl? What are they up to on Instagram? With Like Patrol you can see the posts they specifically like! Find out who their top fans are”. The app, which disguised itself as an Instagram Activity Insights app, would charge a monthly fee of $80 to set up an account. It would then trace anyone the user wanted to know about. Like Patrol would send notifications each time the targeted user posted something new or someone liked or commented on their post. It could also detect the “attractiveness” of the person liking or commenting on the posts of the target based on an algorithm. The app had 300 users.

Instagram has been getting vigilant about the privacy of its users in recent times. The “Following” tab was recently removed from the Instagram app in October. The tab allowed others to view who you followed or the posts that you’ve liked.

According to CNET, Apple said this of why Like Patrol has been removed from the App Store.

“Like Patrol wanted to make creeping on Instagram easier than ever, setting up a service through which paying subscribers could get notifications anytime someone they followed commented on or liked a photo. It was targeted at people in relationships, telling them they could use it to keep tabs on whoever their partners were speaking with on Instagram.”

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