THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR:

Backblaze

Astonishingly Easy And Unlimited Cloud Backup


Path: Doing the Right Thing

Yesterday, personal social network/smart journal Path was hit by a wave of controversy as a user found out the iPhone app uploaded a device’s entire Address Book (your contacts’ names, emails, phone numbers, and addresses) to the company’s servers without any kind of user consent or notice. Whilst some people claimed this is actually common practice for several iOS apps as Apple doesn’t provide native Address Book access dialogs as they do for location, the fact that Path did it was unequivocally wrong, and in spite of the Path’s CEO quickly responding to comments, the company was still called out to make the right thing, apologize, and remove all user data.

And unlike many web companies nowadays, that’s exactly what Path did. With a blog post published earlier today, Path explains that what they did was simply functional to the service’s contact matching feature, but wrong nonetheless. Path is apologizing for the mistake, and has released a new version of the app that makes the functionality opt-in for all users; they have also removed all data from their servers as many asked today.

We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words. So, as a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we’ve deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path.

You may like Path or think it’s useless (I, for one, use it and enjoy it quite a bit), but you have to admit we don’t see companies be that honest and transparent to their users that often. In a world where we’re used to see companies hiding particular aspects of their services to their users (sometimes even paying users), it’s refreshing to see Path be an example of clarity and simplicity in communication.

What Path did was wrong, and they have paid (and will continue paying) the consequences for their mistake in bad PR. On the other hand though, Path has shown that there’s nothing wrong about admitting your errors, saying you’re sorry, and trying to turn a bad decision into a precious lesson for future endeavors.

Bravo, Path.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.