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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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?