After a series of high-profile iOS apps have been revealed to surreptitiously upload address book information to their servers, Apple says it plans to require apps to get user approval before collecting data.
In Mountain Lion, when an app attempts to access your contacts, OS X pops up a dialog box asking your permission. Once you grant it, there's a new section in the Security preferences that lists all the apps you've granted permission to.
Path's big 2.1 release today comes with a promise of another update coming shortly: version 2.1.1. The extra .1 on the end represents Path's intention to add "hashing" to any contact data it collects. The move is obviously a response to the fact that Path experienced the brunt of the contact collection drama last month, when it was revealed the the company was collecting address book information from its users. In response, Path deleted the data, apologized, updated its app to request permission, and has begun working with TRUSTe to get privacy certification (it's not quite there yet).
Following a full week of drama about the unfettered access all apps have to iOS contacts, Apple has finally weighed in. After reiterating its already-existing policy that apps weren't supposed to be accessing or uploading contact data without explicit user permission.
The iOS address book row is no longer just a tempest in the internet's teapot: members of the US Congress have just sent a letter to Apple, demanding answers about its app approval process and the privacy and security of data that's accessed or transmitted by iOS apps.
Path CEO apologizes for address book uploading, deletes all user data, and updates app with privacy controls
Path has moved quickly to try and quell backlash stemming from the social networking app's practice of uploading users' address books to the company's servers.
Journal app Path has confirmed that it uploads entire user address books to its central servers, often without notifying users. The company says it only uses the information to help users connect to friends and family, and will put greater transparency in place in the coming weeks.