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In the wake of a scandal last month, the founder of social networking app Path, Dave Morin, was “hauled” into Apple CEO Tim Cook’s office where he was questioned about his app’s use of customer data, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
The issue stemmed from the discovery by a developer that Path was secretly uploading its users’ iOS contact information, including names, email address, and phone numbers, to its servers without users’ consent or knowledge.
Following the discovery, Path issued an apology, stating that the company’s intention was only to help users locate and connect with friends using the service. It then deleted all user data issued an update to the app that prevented future access to a user’s iOS contact list.
While Path took the brunt of the criticism over the incident, Apple was not immune from criticism due to their supposed policy of verifying each app that makes its way into the App Store. However, as the App Store has grown to include well over 500,000 apps, the curation process has become less practicable.
“One former Apple manager who asked not to be named while discussing his ex-employer, said thousands of new apps are submitted every month, and each gets reviewed for only about 15 minutes,” Bloomberg Businessweek noted.
The controversy generated much discussion in the app and privacy communities and resulted in Apple making changes to its App Store policies to prevent future apps from following in Path’s footsteps. The U.S. Congress also became involved, with two representatives contacting Apple over the matter.
While we would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during Mr. Morin’s meeting, due to the embarrassment this issue caused Apple, we sure wouldn’t have wanted to be in his shoes.