The CEO of Path, a startup focused on sharing your life with just close contacts, has apologized after a hacker showed that Path’s iOS app uploaded extremely personal data to its servers without permission.
The company’s purpose in uploading that data was to help users better connect with friends and family in Path’s systems. But Path users, naturally, were up in arms that their contacts, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers were taken, and some called for Apple to block the iOS app in the App Store. Others threatened legal action.
CEO Dave Morin (pictured) said the company is sorry for what it did. He wrote in a blog post today:
Through the feedback we’ve received from all of you, we now understand that the way we had designed our ‘Add Friends’ feature was wrong. We are deeply sorry if you were uncomfortable with how our application used your phone contacts.
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.
In an act of contrition and a new-found commitment to privacy, the company has “deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers.” Path has also now rolled out an update to the iOS app that allows its users to opt in or out of sharing their personal data with Path’s servers.
Are you satisfied with Morin’s response?
Path CEO Dave Morin photo: Twitter