Path’s CEO Responds to Discovery your Entire Address Book Uploads to its Servers

Update 1: Path’s CEO has apologized on the company blog and an update has been released in the App Store to enable an option to opt in for your address book.

Path is a hugely popular social network app for iOS users, created by Dave Morin, a former Facebook engineer. It was revealed earlier today the app actually uploads your entire iPhone address book to its servers–without your permission or knowing. This is a violation of Apple’s App Store guidelines and it was shockingly discovered by developer Arun Thampi:

Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path. Now I don’t remember having given permission to Path to access my address book and send its contents to its servers, so I created a completely new “Path” and repeated the experiment and I got the same result – my address book was in Path’s hands.

Here is Path’s CEO, Dave Morin’s response:

Arun, thanks for pointing this out. We actually think this is an important conversation and take this very seriously. We upload the address book to our servers in order to help the user find and connect to their friends and family on Path quickly and effeciently as well as to notify them when friends and family join Path. Nothing more.

We believe that this type of friend finding & matching is important to the industry and that it is important that users clearly understand it, so we proactively rolled out an opt-in for this on our Android client a few weeks ago and are rolling out the opt-in for this in 2.0.6 of our iOS Client, pending App Store approval.

Dave Morin

Co-Founder and CEO of Path

There are certainly many other apps that use your address book to help find other friends, but it has never been discovered to also have uploaded their numbers, emails, and full names to external servers. I tested out Path initially when it launched, but I haven’t used it since. There are just way too many social networks to manage nowadays.

Are you an active user of Path? Do you care that your data was uploaded without your permission?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Anonymous

    This sort of thing should be highly illegal.

  • Kang

    The CEO letter didn’t even indicate that they would erase the info that was acquired without permission. I deleted the app and will not go back. Lost my trust.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yeah it’s messed up. I wonder how these things happen by ‘accident’.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yup. Haven’t used Path in a long time, it’s gone.

  • Lies

    If that crook really thinks it’s such an ”important conversation”, why did he wait for someone else to initiate it???

    I can understand why he thinks harvesting everyone’s information is serious, it’s how he plans to get rich….

  • Cupcakebunny

    I use and love path. Frankly, I think people are making a huge deal over nothing. Everyone continues to use Facebook no matter what new privacy laws they break but a small (awesome) company messes up an it’s the end of the world. I recently read a study saying that more than 18% of people have been fired for posting things on Facebook. That should be a much bigger concern than this address book nonsense.

  • Fordomatic69

    I wonder how rich he will be when the Class Action Lawsuiut in the US starts LOL!!