Path privacy scandal leads to App Store changes

Photo-sharing service Path learned a hard lesson this year that resulted in a change to the way all iOS apps treat contact your lists.

Path founder Dave Morin. James Martin/CNET

Sometimes it takes a little nudge to do what we know we should.

After a blogger disclosed that photo-sharing service Path was uploading and storing people's complete contacts lists without having asked permission, user outrage ensued. A month later, a group filed suit against Apple, Path, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and eight other sites for doing the same.

The scandal led to Apple saying any apps that collect user contact lists without permission are in violation of its app guidelines. It then rolled out a software change to begin actively enforcing stronger contacts protection.

At the time, Path founder Dave Morin said the company did this to make the service better. And when it comes to social services, there's clearly an incentive to get people to connect. But this scandal was a good lesson for all app developers that people do want to connect with others, they just want to do it on their own terms.

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