Apple Says No to Apps Pulling User Data Without Permission

Apple has come under fire recently for allowing apps to pull user data, including the address book and other information.  This comes in the wake of the popular ‘smart journal’ app Path deleting user contact data.  Path subsequently posted an apology on their corporate blog: “We are sorry. We made a mistake. Over the last couple of days users brought to light an issue concerning how we handle your personal information on Path, specifically the transmission and storage of your phone contacts.”

The issue of user data security isn’t limited to Path, however, prompting a statement from Apple regarding their policy on how apps handle user information.

Apple released a statement today to AllThingsD regarding customer frustrations with data security and permissions.  “‘Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. ‘We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.’”

Path has released an update (version 2.0.6), which they claim resolves the issues by specifically asking a user to opt-in or -out of sharing your information with Path’s servers.  “We care deeply about your privacy and about creating a trusted place for you to share life with your close friends and family. As we continue to expand and grow we will make some mistakes along the way. We commit to you that we will continue to be transparent and always serve you, our users, first.”

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