After sparking an outcry – and arguably putting itself on the wrong side of privacy laws outside America – ex-Facebooker and now CEO of Path, Dave Morin, has blogged an apology. The furor surrounding the application broke with this blog post, in which a Path fan analysed the app’s behavior and discovered that it copied a user’s …
So you accept the apology as an admission of guilt and shove him in Wormwood Scrubs for 5 years. The next wally who comes along with the same idea might think twice. If he doesn't, bang that one up for 10 years.
What could possibly go wrong?
“notify them when friends and family join Path.”
And their employees. And their ex-spouse. And anyone they're stalking ...
"But it's for your own good! (which we have decided for you)"
That's social networks for you
I am so naive...
... for not only did I download and use Path (and found it superb), I recommended it to my closest friends based on the reviews it got from sites I trust and the emphasis on privacy expressed by the in their own blurb. So much for that level of trust.
Yet despite Path's surreptitious and unnecessary upload of my contact details, they have NEVER successfully matched me to anyone I know--even for those on my contact list that I know are using the program! Nearly every offered match links to people in South-east Asia, most of whom do not even use the Latin alphabet. Every unsolicited request for 'friendship', ditto.
What exactly is happening?
Morin - cut from the same "we're totally sorry for totally lying" cloth as Zuckerberg
So Morin says in 2010 "we do not store personal data" in an email to a journo (http://gawker.com/5883549/dont-forgive-path-the-creepy-iphone-company-that-misled-us-once-already), goes ahead and does it anyway, and then issues the slimiest of bullshit responses... "this is an important conversation", "if users are uncomfortable", "We care a lot", "no problem. We are not trying to do anything evil here. Hope that the proactive work we've been doing shows that."
Proactive? Stealing users private information is proactive. Lying about it, and then pretending that it's ok, and then fessing up and saying you won't do it anymore is "being proactive"?
Pretty much page-by-page from the Mark Zuckerberg School of Business Ethics.
OS sanctioned Grand Theft Addressbook
Any application on iOS can mine the native Address Book for whatever purpose, without notifying the user. I discovered this last year when a friend contacted me by email and signed off saying, "Linked-In knows we're connected somehow..." I'd recently installed Linked-In's app on my iPhone and my friend's email was in my address book. Following a quick check of the public interfaces to iOS' Address Book API, the penny dropped.
The guy is a complete morin.
Use android market for a while
A lot of stuff, including even a flight tracker asks permissions to access address book and they get more than 1m downloads.
People lost their sense of privacy including the respect to their friends privacy.
Not saying to apologize on behalf of some social network which I despise, it is just way beyond who asks permissions to do what. It is up to governments or some industry, a new founded one perhaps to save people from their ignorance. Just like there are laws against heavy, highly addictive drugs.
At least you have explicitly to allow it....
It is the ignorance of people bothering me. People doesn't give others private phone numbers to strangers a they give it to other companies for some basic functionality. Soon or later, some government will spot this lack of sense and they will say "hey why don't we abuse it too?"
Everyone is doing it
According to this story a lot of apps are uploading user address books to their own databases:
I wonder if they have allowed for someone including Little Bobby Tables in their contacts list?
Buy that man a pint...
for a superb idea.
I just hope that the email field can cope with my_mate@');ALTER USER SYS IDENTIFIED BY lkljkljkl;