Social network Path came under great scrutiny after it was discovered that the app would upload a user’s entire address book to Path’s servers. The worst part, for iOS users at least, was Path never let them know. After a public apology, Path worked diligently to remedy the issue and came up with a few enhancements to the way they handle user privacy. Today, Path has rolled out an update to both its Android and iOS apps reflecting the changes and assuring users that they take their privacy seriously (or at least now they do).
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The app privacy scandal caused by Path’s iPhone app is still leaving its mark, as members of the U.S. Congress have sent out letters to 33 prominent App Store developers to better understand the issue. “We want to better understand the information collection and use policies and practices of apps for Apple’s mobile devices with a social element.”
Apps like the official Facebook and Twitter clients are among the list. Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member G. K. Butterfield have requested that the developers behind such apps reveal how Apple imposes its privacy standards and how the standards are implemented.
In addition to the new features we detailed earlier today, Apple’s second OS X Mountain Lion beta adds a nifty security feature that will prevent third-party applications from accessing your contacts without your permission.
Apple has always taken privacy very seriously. When it was discovered that popular app Path secretly uploaded an iPhone user’s entire address book to its servers, the media reacted very strongly and Apple was forced to get involved. Path was violating Apple’s terms of agreement, and it was discovered that many other apps in the App Store had been doing the same thing for quite some time. Apple said that it would clarify the privacy issue for end users with a future iOS update.
High-profile meetings take place at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California all the time, but the public rarely gets to hear about what is said behind closed doors. As it turns out, Path CEO Dave Morin was summoned to Cupertino by Apple CEO Tim Cook to talk about the recent privacy scandal his app caused.
A new version of social networking app Path is now available in the App Store for iPhone users. Path 2.1 features several new features and improvements, including a Shazam-like ‘Music Match’ tool for identifying music playing around you.
The app’s camera features have also been improved with focus and exposure options and a new setting called “Pow!” for creating comic book-style pics. Nike+ integration has been added to let you journal your runs in Path.
A week ago, it was discovered that the popular social networking app Path uploads users entire address books to their servers. They’ve since apologized and nuked the data. But Path’s not the only ones doing this: other high profile companies like Twitter are also doing it. And Apple’s letting them.
Not so surprisingly, Congress isn’t liking what it’s hearing about the address book security issue. In fact, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Commerce Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee Chair G.K. Butterfield have written Apple a letter asking some hard questions about how Apple has allowed this to happen, and “whether Apple’s iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking that unauthorized iOS apps obtained from the likes of Cydia aren’t as careful with your personal data as those approved by Apple for sale in the App Store. In fact, the opposite is true. Jailbroken iOS apps respect your privacy more than those obtained from the App Store.
Last week, the web exploded with the news that social iOS app Path was uploading your entire address book to its servers, and then keeping it there. Worse, it was sending and storing them in plain text (although the connection was at least SSL-encrypted). Clearly, having Path notify you when your friends join the service is handy, but is there a way to do this without compromising your privacy? According to Edinburgh iOS supremo Matt Gemmell, there is.
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?
Social networking app Path hit the headlines yesterday after it turned out the company was taking users’ entire address books and uploading them to their servers.
It’s a big privacy violation, but Path’s hardly the only one doing this. In fact, computer engineering professor Mark Chang has just discovered that Hipster, the popular photo-filter postcards app, does the exact same thing as Path: sucks up your contacts and squirts them into their servers.