Social networking app Path copies users’ address books to its servers without their knowledge or approval, a developer has discovered. See here a video report from Newsy:
Embedded Video Source by Newsy.com
Transcript by Newsy
BY EVAN THOMAS
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
Social networking apps are all about sharing, but Path users could be giving up more information than they intended. This week, a developer discovered anyone who signs up for Path signs over their phone’s address book, like it or not.
Path is a location-based social network that lets you share where you are and what you’re doing with your friends. You can post pictures and video, and even track when you wake up and fall asleep.
Developer Arun Thampi watched how the Path app talked to its servers, and discovered the app pulled his entire address book without his permission. He wrote about it on his blog and got a response from Path CEO Dave Morin.
“We upload the address book to our servers in order to help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and [efficiently] as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path. Nothing more.”
The blogosphere exploded with angry users wanting answers from Morin. Technologizerwonders if Path gets how hot-button privacy is nowadays.
“Little by little, Morin is addressing the company’s actions… But he hasn’t explained himself to the satisfaction of all of Thampi’s commenters, and the Path Blog doesn’t yet cover the kerfuffle. It’s not clear that Path thinks this a particularly big deal.”
TechCrunch says Morin misstepped, questioning Path’s prioritization of privacy.
“Much as I like Path, there’s something a little odd about Morin’s response. He … goes on to call it an ‘important conversation’ to have, but if that’s true, then why are we having it under these circumstances?”
Privacy follows a fine line, says Gizmodo.
“Social networks and privacy issues are nothing new, and now we’re again revisiting the issue of how much information we really want to share on a social network. Yes, we want to be social, but not too social.”
ReadWriteWeb suggests this sort of scandal is the price we pay for social connectivity.
“Whenever Facebook or Google messes with our privacy, this is the cost of doing business for free. Path is no different. It’s already using our personal data in ways we didn’t expect.”
Path won’t necessarily get that data in the future, though. The Android client has a new opt-in feature that will keep Path from accessing your address book at all. An update for the iOS app is pending approval in the App Store.
Transcript by Newsy.
(Image source: newsy.com, Digital Trends)