Apple this week removed an iPhone app which allowed users to locate nearby sex offenders. Hmm, that didn’t come out quite right. Let’s try again. Apple this week removed an iPhone app which, in the interest of safety, allowed users to check and see if sex offenders were living in their area.
Now before you roll your eyes and mumble, “here we go again”, Apple was reportedly forced to take down the app due to a California law which prohibits the sale of criminal information for monetary gain. For some reason I had been under the impression that the app, called “Offender Locator”, was free, but some quick legwork found that it was a paid app that was actually doing quite well on the app store. I should point out, though, that sex offender information is readily available for free from sites such as Familywatchdog.Us.
But in an apparent contradiction, we reported last February on an iPhone app called FBI Most Wanted which provides users with a variety of FBI most wanted lists. The app is still available on iTunes and costs $1.99. So isn’t that app also making money via the sale of criminal information? I can only imagine that the app didn’t sell well-enough to garner any significant attention. The Offender Locator app, meanwhile, cracked the top 10 paid apps list.