Path iOS app steals address book to help users: Update

A large majority of us use social media sites everyday, and with the technology of smartphones this has never been easier. Helping you along with your friends and family share what is going on in the world, apps like Path and Instagram, give you a smart journal to store clips, pictures and videos.

While all this seems quite harmless a report by BGR, has highlighted some concerns. Their source discovered that the Path app was stealing data from the iPhone, this was spotted when trying to create a Mac OS X application for the same social network. He commented, “Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path.”

Even though permission wasn’t asked for, Path had extracted the iPhones complete address book details. As yet the application for Path Android isn’t known to produce the same problem but it will be interesting to see if it suffers the same fate.

Give us your thoughts on this unauthorized access to your private information, is it justifiable or completely unnecessary?

UPDATE: We thought we would share an email we received covering the above, the email is a as follows:

Hi Mark,

We’re sending you this post from Dave Morin because you’ve either covered the recent Path news and/or you cover Path.

Path just released 2.0.6, which allows iOS users to opt in or opt out of sharing your phone’s contacts with Path. The Android version continues to allow users this option.

Dave has outlined below the steps Path is taking with this release to do right by its users.

Thank you,

We are sorry.

We made a mistake. Over the last couple of days users brought to light an issue concerning how we handle your personal information on Path, specifically the transmission and storage of your phone contacts.

As our mission is to build the world’s first personal network, a trusted place for you to journal and share life with close friends and family, we take the storage and transmission of your personal information very very seriously.

Through the feedback we’ve received from all of you, we now understand that the way we had designed our ‘Add Friends’ feature was wrong. We are deeply sorry if you were uncomfortable with how our application used your phone contacts.

In the interest of complete transparency we want to clarify that the use of this information is limited to improving the quality of friend suggestions when you use the ‘Add Friends’ feature and to notify you when one of your contacts joins Path——nothing else. We always transmit this and any other information you share on Path to our servers over an encrypted connection. It is also stored securely on our servers using industry standard firewall technology.

We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words. So, as a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we’ve deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path.

In Path 2.0.6, released to the App Store today, you are prompted to opt in or out of sharing your phone’s contacts with our servers in order to find your friends and family on Path. If you accept and later decide you would like to revoke this access, please send an email to service@path.com and we will promptly see to it that your contact information are removed.

We care deeply about your privacy and about creating a trusted place for you to share life with your close friends and family. As we continue to expand and grow we will make some mistakes along the way. We commit to you that we will continue to be transparent and always serve you first, our users.

We hope this update clears up any confusion. You can find Path 2.0.6 in the App Store here:http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/path/id403639508?mt=8

Link to post: http://blog.path.com/post/17274932484/we-are-sorry


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