Pa.-based dating app challenged in San Francisco

Posted: February 06, 2014

The San Francisco city attorney this week sued a New Hope-based technology company, claiming that its social-networking app makes it too easy for sexual predators to target and find minor victims.

According to a complaint filed Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, MeetMe Inc. produces MeetMe, an app "where new friends meet," which collects location data from users and shows them who else is nearby.

Users can chat with and view pictures of each other to decide whether they want to meet in person.

City Attorney Dennis Ferrera - whose 13-page complaint cites studies about adolescent brain scans - accused MeetMe of engaging in "unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts" for collecting users' data "without valid consent."

Typical teenagers would not understand what data they hand over when signing up for the app, Ferrera argued, and the result has been instances of older men using the app to locate and sexually assault minors. In one case, his lawsuit said, a man was arrested in Fresno, Calif., last October after allegedly meeting and assaulting a minor he found through the app.

MeetMe's chief executive officer, Geoff Cook, released a statement Monday saying that he could not discuss pending litigation, but defending his company's data-collection and safety practices.


cpalmer@phillynews.com

609-217-8305

@cs_palmer

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|