In the social photo app arena, millions of you use Instagram. There are also a large number who choose Path to share photos with family and friends.
Recently, several websites including AppleInsider reported on a bug in Path originally uncovered by developer Arun Thampi in which the app uploaded the entire contents of your iPhone’s address book to its servers. Version 2.0.6 has just been released. The app’s two What’s New items are bug fixes and “enhanced contacts privacy.” The address book upload has been removed and Path’s CEO Dave Morin has also issued an apology on the app’s blog.
More after the jump. >>>
Websites like Facebook and the Google products know more about me than I do. Everything we do on them adds to the collective information that are being stored and analyzed about us and then used against us in the continuous effort to try and sell us things. While I don’t necessarily like Facebook and Google having that much access to my personal information, I realize that in order to use the sites the way I want to, that’s the cost of doing business so to speak.
However, these websites are usually pretty upfront about the information they collect. At least it’s buried somewhere in the Terms of Service we all just usually click past. Before now, Path didn’t let you know what it was doing or give you the opportunity to opt out.
Path CEO Dave Morin was very transparent in his explanation.
…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.
With the new update, Path have deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from their servers and now allow users to to opt in or out of sharing their phone’s contacts with Path servers. You can now request that your uploaded contact information be removed at any time.
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.
Path made a mistake. They admitted it. They apologized for it. But how long would Path have been collecting our data had this not been outed?
Anyway, if you’re worried about your privacy, download the new Path 2.0.6 update. It’s a little safer now to play in Path.