Apple remained silent as Path and other developers were called out for ostensibly stealing users’ contact data. Without asking for permission or even notifying users at all, these apps would transmit a user’s full address book to remote servers where the data would be stored for later reference. But as BGR mentioned in our post explaining how to prevent these sneaky apps from stealing contact data, Apple was partially at fault for letting these apps into the App Store. According to a statement Apple issued on Wednesday, this will no longer be the case. “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines,” an Apple spokesman told All Things D. “We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.” It is unclear if or when Apple plans to remove apps already in the App Store that transmit Address Book data first without seeking permission from the user. More →
Path caused quite a stir last week when it was discovered that the app secretly transmitted users’ entire contact lists to its servers. Without giving users the option to approve the transfer or even giving an indication that this data was being sent, Path was basically stealing personal data. The company’s CEO would later apologize and a recent update makes the process more transparent, but the damage has been done and the company’s image is tarnished. Apple is known for having strict guidelines by which iOS apps are judged before being allowed in the App Store, but apparently the theft of user data falls within those guidelines. Luckily for iPhone users, one developer decided to take matters into his own hands. Read on for more. More →
Yesterday it was revealed that the popular social networking app Path was uploading entire iPhone address books to the company’s server. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the app uploaded all this data without ever asking for permission. Dave Morin, Path’s co-founder and CEO, admitted fault on Wednesday through the company’s website and announced an update to allow users to either opt in or out of the contact collection feature. “We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words,” Morin said. “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.” The company maintains that when data is transmitted to its servers, it is always sent securely through an encrypted connection and protected by industry-standard firewalls. More →
Path, the popular social network that competes with the likes of Instagram, may be uploading your iPhone’s entire address book up to its servers. Arun Thampi from mclov.in noticed the Path app’s steal data dump while trying to create a Mac OS X application for the social network during a hackathon. “Upon inspecting closer, I noticed that my entire address book (including full names, emails and phone numbers) was being sent as a plist to Path,” Thampi said, noting that Path didn’t ever ask for permission to do so. It’s unclear why Path is uploading the iPhone’s entire address book, but Thampi noticed that the social network performs the action during an API call with basic HTTP authentication. It remains unclear if Path’s Android application is also guilty of uploading personal information. Thampi has instructions on how to catch Path in the action on his blog.
UPDATE: A response from Path’s CEO follows after the break. More →
Microsoft has released a new video that shows off several of the People Hub enhancements in Windows Phone Mango. The video walks viewers through a new notification Live Tile system for contacts that can be pinned to the homescreen. After a contact has been pinned, the Live Tile will quickly alert you of a new email, message, Twitter or Facebook status, missed calls, and more. If you tap into the card, Windows Phone Mango will show you an entire history of the conversations you’ve had with that person. We’re loving what we see so far and can’t wait for the release. A recent leak has suggested we can expect it, along with new devices, in September. Hit the jump for the video. More →
Today Xobni, the company behind the popular inbox management software with the same name, announced that it will begin offering a beta browser-plugin for Chrome and Firefox that works with Gmail. Xobni for Gmail creates profiles for each contact in your address book, and automatically fills in company, title, social network profiles, and more. If you search for a contact, you’ll see their profile, as well as analytics on how often you’ve exchanged emails with them, at what times, and more. Xobni also announced that clients for both the iPhone and Android smartphones will be entering into beta-testing soon, and will eventually be offered alongside the BlackBerry version — which is already available. Those with multiple accounts across different devices may want to opt for Xobni’s cloud-based Xobni Pro package. As we’ve said before: Xobni basically makes your boring inbox awesome, so if you haven’t given it a try before, you may want to check it out now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Think you can avoid having corporate email on your mobile device by buying a feature phone? Think again, as today Verizon Wireless announced an update to its feature phone email solution, Mobile Email 4.0. The downloadable application will allow users to connect their non-smartphone devices to Microsoft’s Exchange environment, leverage push email, and utilize an integrated contact list. The service will retail for $5 per month and is available to those with a data plan of at least $15 per month. The software is currently compatible with eight VZW phones, including the Samsung Zeal, LG Cosmos Touch, and Pantech Crux. Hit the read link for the full PR. More →
If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a contact from your Gmail address book, you know what pain is. The action has been, since the inception of the contacts feature, irreversible. But that all changes today. Google has announced a new “restore contacts” feature that will grant those whom have accidentally deleted a contact 30-days of clemency. As the press release reads:
We’ve added a new feature to Google Contacts that allows you to revert your contact list and undo any mistakes made up to 30 days in the past. Let’s say you accidentally deleted a bunch of contacts or wiped the contact data from your Gmail account by mistake while syncing to another device. Visit Gmail’s Contacts section, select “Restore contacts” in the “More actions” menu, and choose the time you would like to revert to.
The feature is rolling out to Gmail users as we type. More →
If you’re a Palm-loving individual that just simply can’t get rid of your puke lime-colored Centro on AT&T, you’ll probably be pleased to learn that Palm has officially confirmed that the Pre Plus as well as the Pixi Plus will be joining AT&T in the “coming months.” Yes, this is an official announcement of what we already knew, and there isn’t a confirmed launch date. Be that as it may, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus spec-wise are pretty identical to the Verizon Wireless units (besides the obvious UMTS support instead of CDMA), with the Pre Plus rocking 16GB of built-in storage and the Pixi Plus at 8GB. Additionally, if you’re a fan of AT&T’s Address Book service, you’ll be good to go out of the gate as it’s now one of the supported syncing methods in Palm’s Synergy synchronization service. Anyone excited, or were you expecting new hardware by the time this launches around June? More →