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  • 02.25.10

ASBOrometer Heralds the Future of Anti-Social Smartphone Apps

An App developer has seen the future–and it’s anti-social networking. Working with data.gov.uk, which allows government data in the U.K. to be made public, Jeff Gilfelt’s has created an iPhone and Android app that tells you just how many people have been served with an ASBO–that’s Anti-Social Behavior Order–in that neighborhood.

ASBOrometer

An App developer has seen the future–and it’s anti-social networking. Working with data.gov.uk, which allows government data in the U.K. to be made public, Jeff Gilfelt’s has created an iPhone and Android app that tells you just how many people have been served with an ASBO–that’s Anti-Social Behavior Order–in that neighborhood.

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Last weekend the ASBOrometer became the most popular free download on the U.K. iTunes App Store, with 80,000 apps under its holdin’-up-ma-beergut belt.

The ASBOrometer finds your position using GPS and tells you just how many people have been served with an ASBO, a slightly pointless label that local authorities can bestow on people who are a pain in the butt (to put it mildly). As an illustration of how it is sometimes worn as a badge of honor, there seem to be a lot of snarling Pitbulls in London’s parks who answer to the name of Asbo*.

While Fast Company is no stranger to anti-social apps, this is the start of a worrying trend. The ASBOrometer may have big social implications for how people can use social networks and location-aware information. Thinking of going somewhere new for supper? Well, let me just check the number of health code violations and learn about the area using my Ghetto-scarilous app. Oh, I don’t think so, it says 19 per cent of residents in this area are Cylon.

*When I was a kid, they were all called PhD, Antidisestablishmentarianism, and Freud. No, seriously.

[ASBOrometer Via Google Maps Mania]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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