News24

Path network sorry over privacy flap

2012-02-09 09:16

San Francisco - Social network Path on Wednesday apologised for uploading users' address book information without asking for permission.

"We made a mistake," Path co-founder and chief executive David Morin said in a blog post. "We are deeply sorry if you were uncomfortable with how our application used your phone contacts."

Path released updated applications modified to ask users whether they would like to opt in or out of letting the service use personal contact list information to help them connect with friends or family at the social network.

"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," Morin said.

Contact information mined from users computers was encrypted before being transmitted to Path servers, where the information was securely stored," according to the company.

"We now understand that the way we had designed our 'Add Friends' feature was wrong," said Morin, a former Facebook executive.

"As a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we've deleted the entire collection of uploaded contact information from our servers."

Path was slammed with criticism after news spread of a software developer who discovered that the social network's applications copied information from people's phone books without letting them know.

Path has free applications tailored for use on devices powered by Apple or Android software.