Wednesday, 01 May 2013 09:19

Path abusing access to users address books… again

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Remember Path? You know them, the social community that was accused of abusing access to their members’ mobile address books? Well they are at it again. The problem popped up not that long after they got into trouble for collecting information illegally including personal information about minors. They were reprimanded and fined $800,000 (which to a large business is still not that much). You would think they would have learned their lesson about this. Sadly it still seems to be an issue and Path argues that it this is all about maintaining the user experience.

According to representatives from Path their network is better with friends (at least 8 makes for the best experience). They are certain that if you are interested in the service you will want to include all your friends and have included the tools to help you out. When you download and install their app is automatically queues up a text to everyone in your address book. You have to go in an uncheck them all or uncheck the ones that you do not want to include. Path says that this is a feature (it always is) designed to make it easier to share your content with friends.

The problem is that this should not be an opt-out feature, but one that asks the user if they want to share with friends. By making it the default action to send out messages to everyone in your address list it is a shady move. There is simply no denying that this is not about the user experience, but about getting more people on the service. Path will try to spin this one, but most people are going to see through this considering their history of collecting information. Instead of putting in the effort to spin this as a feature maybe they should spend a few extra minutes to code in a step asking people if they want to share with friend and then letting them chose who they want to add. They also probably want to make it clear that by doing this the people listed will be sent messages asking them to join. Looking over the app now that is certainly far from clear. To be perfectly honest there are too many mobile apps that seem to require access to your address book these days and we really have to wonder why they really need that.

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Read 1825 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 09:22

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