This brave, new digital age isn't all sunshine and easy check deposits. There is a darker edge to this era, and it's illustrated perfectly by the iPhone Offender Locator, a map-based app that allows you to find out where registered sex offenders are in relation to you. When the locator first came out, it shot to the App Store top 10 list. A media buzz rose up around the disturbing little app, and it was quietly removed from the App Store on Aug 6th.
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As Fortune notes, there are two versions of the controversial application. One, Offender Locator Lite, was free and limited users to 5 searches per day and lists no more than 10 offenders per search. The full version of Offender Locator cost $.99, and did not impose those restrictions. Unfortunately for the developers, the state of California prohibits the unauthorized sale of personal information.
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Considering the Offender Locator provides users with offender addresses, photos, criminal records, and other details, it certainly counts as selling personal information. The developer removed California data from their for-profit version, and stuck the app back on the App Store on August 9th. That's more than a little anti-climactic when you consider how much controversy this little application has dredged up.