How To Keep Apps Like Path From Accessing Your Contacts Data [Jailbreak]

How To Keep Apps Like Path From Accessing Your Contacts Data [Jailbreak]

We told you yesterday that Path was secretly uploading your iPhone’s entire address book to its servers. Users of the inclusive social network voiced concern, and many decided to remove the app entirely until Path addresses the issue in an upcoming update.

It’s common practice for third-party apps to access and even store your contacts elsewhere. The problem with Path is that there was no indication that this activity was taking place. Path’s CEO stated that the app would make the activity opt-in when the next update is pushed out.

Thanks to a brand new jailbreak tweak, you’ll never have to worry about an app silently stealing your personal contacts data again.

Developed by Ryan Petrich, ContactPrivacy is a new tweak in Cydia that lets you know whenever an app wants to access your iOS device’s contact database. Every time a third-party app tries to access and send such data in the background without your permission, ContactPrivacy will send you a notification asking you to allow or deny the activity.

Many popular App Store apps rely on your iPhone’s contacts database to perform certain functions. Instagram, for example, must have access to your contacts when you request to find friends “From my contact list.” There are other apps, like Path, that behave this way silently.

Be warned that revoking an app’s access to anything, like a contact list, may cause the app to not function properly or even crash.

To install ContactPrivacy for free in Cydia, you’ll need to add the following repo: rpetri.ch/repo. There will be no Springboard icon or Settings window to configure. The tweak will simply do its job whenever an app tries to access your address book.

Update: Path has updated its iPhone app and stopped storing your contact information. Learn more.

Related
  • joewaylo

    Isn’t it against developer TOS to access your contacts without asking for permission?

  • trife ro

    When installed, it´s impossible to run Whatsapp. It kills it.

  • Hafiz Shafruddin

    It is. Seems like Apple’s app screening is not all that effective.

  • blueleaves

    I’m appalled that Apple has allowed this in the first place. Wasn’t the point of the App Store meant to be that Apple would protect users against malware apps… And apps that data mined your phone without your permission i.e. exactly what Path seems to have done.

    And I wonder how many more apps are doing this, too?

  • gfehr

    I had the same problem! I removed ContactPrivacy to keep using WhatsApp. 

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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