Path Does the Right Thing On User Privacy

Illustration for article titled Path Does the Right Thing On User Privacy

The little mobile-only social network kicked up a big privacy debacle by uploading its members address book data to its servers without their knowledge. Today, Path announced that it's deleting that data, and released a new version of its app.

The new version gives users the ability to opt-in or out of sharing address book information. It also announced exactly what it does with that data:

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.


But the best news from the blog post is that it is deleting all of the data it had stored without getting people's permission. Doing that in the first place was a bone-headed move.

The only real question now is why company founder Dave Morin decided to put his head shot at the bottom of the post.

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Glad to see they're fixing their mistake and letting people in on what happens when you 'Add Friends'.

But I'm a bit confused about how people thought it was going to find your friends without accessing your address book data.. it's just an app, it's not psychic.