Over the past few days, there’s been a huge uproar over the social networking app Path, which appears to have uploaded your entire address book without the common courtesy of asking for permission. This is, of course, a huge privacy SNAFU, and set everyone into a tailspin of rage. In the wake of this revelation, there’s been a lot written (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), an official apology, and the app has been patched to make this service opt-in.
What’s really worrying is that this has caused a number of people to look closer at the apps they use, and it appears that Path isn’t the only doing this. Hipster is at blame too, prompting another official apology and claims that the data wasn’t stored. In fact, the practice may be endemic. The folks at Hipster are at least trying to put together a “privacy summit” to discuss a better way to approach this problem, but it’s worrying how cavalier the overall attitude is towards intensely private information.