The outrage over this Path address book upload issue is interesting. It’s a good discussion to have but in my mind there are other privacy issues we should be way more worried about.
But I didn’t write this post to talk about that issue. I found the response from Path to be quite interesting:
We believe that this type of friend finding & matching is important to the industry and that it is important that users clearly understand it, so we proactively rolled out an opt-in for this on our Android client a few weeks ago and are rolling out the opt-in for this in 2.0.6 of our iOS Client, pending App Store approval.
First of all they added the opt-out feature to Android *first*. That’s odd, given that their app was iOS-only for the longest time. Their user base also *must* be larger there. Is the Android team just more on the ball than the iOS? I doubt that, given they haven’t added the notification control that the iOS version has. Maybe the iOS team was busy working on a bigger ‘yet-to-be-released’ feature. Or are Android users more sensitive to privacy? Definitely a sign that Android has become an equal contender to iOS at least in terms of development Maybe I’m reading way too much into this, but it does raise a lot of questions.
Second is the ‘pending AppStore approval.’ There *has* to be a better way for development shops like Path, especially with small code-base updates and especially for things of this nature. The developers at Path aren’t going to add in code that sends costly SMS message to Nigerian short codes. This doesn’t *quite* fall under the ‘expedited emergency security hole’ approval process Apple has but there really needs to be a middle ground. A middle ground for companies that produce one of the top 5 social media apps currently in use.