Apple removes Instagram stalking app Like Patrol from the App Store

The Instagram creeping app violates Apple’s guidelines.

Like Patrol -- an app that scrapes Instagram data to let users keep tabs on any Instagram account's interactions -- is in hot water. Instagram sent the app's developers a cease and desist notice last week for violating its terms of service, and on Saturday, Apple completely removed the service from the App Store. A quick search of the App Store confirms that it's no longer available as of this writing. According to CNET, Apple pulled Like Patrol after deciding it violated the App Store guidelines. Though it's not clear which rules were broken, it's a safe bet that they revolve around data collection and privacy violations.

Like Patrol takes the idea of Instagram's own "Following" tab -- which was disabled earlier this fall -- and makes it even more invasive. The app reports who a given user is interacting with, down to gender and attractiveness stats. Sergio Luis Quintero, the app's founder, said that the company intends to fight Instagram's cease and desist order, but that may be moot thanks to Apple's takedown; the App Store owner is the true gatekeeper in this situation.

Typically, when an app is taken down from the App Store, it can still be accessed by users who previously downloaded it. It's unclear whether or not existing Like Patrol users can still use the service. Even if they can, it sounds like the app's days are numbered.