Path Apologizes, Issues Update Making Accessing Your Address Book Opt-In

Path Apologizes, Issues Update Making Accessing Your Address Book Opt-In

Caught up in a maelstrom of controversy over revelations that Path has been uploading iOS users’ address books to their own servers, Path CEO David Morin has spoken out about what’s going to happen now.

It’s all good news. Not only is Path taking full responsibility, and apologizing whole-heartedly for the violation, they’ve also pushed live a new update to the Path app that makes uploading your address book opt-in. But will other developers follow Path’s lead?

Over on the official Path blog, in a post umambiguously titled “We are sorry,” David Morin wrote the following:

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 (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)and we will promptly see to it that your contact information is 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, our users, first.

We hope this update clears up any confusion. You can find Path 2.0.6 in the App Store here.

Short of that line about “clearing up any confusion,” this reads like an earnest apology to me, and is probably the best way Path could have possibly gone about remedying this thing: a public apology and a quick patch.

What about you? Will you still use Path?

  • FriarNurgle

    Never heard of Path.

  • Jdsonice

    Hats off to these guys. They did the right thing and deserve kudos for it. Not many companies do it 

    Good job guys.

  • Timothy Williamson

    I stopped using it a while back because I didn’t need to manage yet another social app. Recently I requested my account and data be deleted. I won’t go back to using it (not that I was planning to in the first place).

  • Alex

    If they where doing the right thing, they wouldn’t have been doing this in the first place ….

  • kenci59

    I cannot see the advantages over Facebook especially after the timeline upgrade. Something has to go wrong with Facebook for me to make the effort for a switch. Pinterest is different – Path is not.

  • ??nD ??os??A

    I tried Path because I was tired of Facebook’s privacy policy problems and constant changes. But Path screwed up just as bad. I deleted my Path account too. I guess the beauty of Twitter is that you don’t have to worry about privacy, there is none.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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