Path Reaches Settlement with FTC Over Address Book Privacy Concerns

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #1
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    Early last year, the popular iOS app Path came under fire for uploading users' entire address books to company servers without alerting users or asking for authorization.

    The scandal resulted in Apple locking down user data in iOS 6, requiring explicit permission before apps could access a users location, contacts, calendars, photos, and reminders.

    Today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced that it has reached a settlement with Path. The agreement requires Path to establish a new privacy program, obtain independent privacy assessments for 20 years, and pay an $800,000 fine.
    The FTC alleged that Path's app was misleading and failed to offer the consumer any choice in whether his data was uploaded, and that Path violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting personal information from children without getting parents' consent.

    Path has posted a response to the settlement on its blog.

    Article Link: Path Reaches Settlement with FTC Over Address Book Privacy Concerns
     
  2. macrumors regular

    designaholic

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    Bristol, UK
    #2
    Ouch.
     
  3. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #3
    Very nice result. Now what we would like to know whether that idiot in their marketing department who thought stealing people's complete address book was a good idea got fired.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #4
    Didn't research the size of this company, but $800k is a ton of cash.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #5
    Wait, so instead of making Path delete it's database of user address books, the Feds just took $800k for themselves? Am I missing something?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sayer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Independent privacy assessments for 20 years and an $800k fine. Good thing we have the Government to protect us from ourselves!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    mw360

    Joined:
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    #7
    Didn't Path delete their database shortly after the story broke?
     
  8. macrumors 68030

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    Aussie living in Canada
    #8
    Who gets the $800k?
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #9
    This punishment is excessive, $800,000? I can think of some crimes far worse that our government has given less for....
    I think it was a dumb thing to do but this will probably kill the company.

    Ahhh sensationalism at its finest.

    Yeah
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    aristotle

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    No, you are not missing anything. The legal system is not about "justice" or setting things right. It is often a way for the state to enrich itself at the expense of others.

    Have you heard of the phrase "Don't steal, the government hates competition"?

    Governments view the mafia as their competition in areas such as extortion, racketeering and outright theft. When the government does it, it is legal.
     
  11. macrumors G5

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #11
    I develop software for a living.

    If my boss told me to write code that uploads a user's address book to our servers, I would politely ask him to contact our legal department. If he refused or said the legal department is Ok with this, I would ask him to give me the order to write this code in writing and signed, and the written response from legal as well.

    And in my company, it would be _him_ losing his job over this, not me.


    Do thieves stay out of jail if the police recovers the money that was stolen?


    Path can consider itself well-protected from itself.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    #12
    Interesting that the companies response does not say anything about the misuse of user data, but only that a computer issue let underage users sign up. Apparently, they still don't get it. Maybe a larger fine or a class action lawsuit is in order to make them see the error of their ways.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

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    Bath, UK.
    #13
    Where does the cash go? To the users affected?
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    nepalisherpa

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    USA
    #14
    It would be nice if all the users, whose data were part of the breach, got some kind of settlement.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    SmileyBlast!

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #15
    People were hoping to profit somehow from all of that contact info.
    I think the fine is meant to show Path and other Mobile developers that you have to pay a heavy fine for helping yourself to this data without asking permission and havinga EULA.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #16
    I develop software for a living too. This is a bit unrelated but If I had an employee tell me something like that, I'd fire them on the spot. It's not your job to play lawyer, as you said "it would be _him_ losing his job over this, not me."

    Why are you so convinced this was done with malicious intent?

    You sound like Nancy Grace spouting off on something with no facts or knowledge of the situation. :rolleyes:
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #17
    The $.8m fine was for allowing children under 13 to sign up. It was collateral damage to the investigation.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    #18
    "$800,000 fine"? Does the users get part of that?
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Me1000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #19
    I'm really disappointed by the quality of the reporting here.
    The $800K fine was for allowing 12 year olds the create accounts (a bug which was fixed long before the FTC got involved), but the entire post makes it sound like it's all about addressbook gate.

    The FTC conducted an investigation because of the address book scandal, but the $800K had nothing to do with that.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    #20
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #21
    Path's response is embarrassing

    Their response is a total straw man about the children under the age of 13. It doesn't ONCE mention automatically uploading mycontacts to their servers.


    EDIT: Apparently, it's Macrumors that should embarrassed, this entire story makes it sound like the problem was the contacts, when in actuality, the FTC fined them only because of underage accounts.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    #22
    Since government spending is controlled by a budget that is passed by parliament, any extra income should go towards paying back the debt.

    ----------

    Yes, but what Path did with these underage accounts (ie, uploading the address book) likely influenced the size of the fine.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    Me1000

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #23
    That's entirely unsupported speculation. You don't even know that at the time 12 year olds were allowed to sign up, addressbooks were being uploaded. Path 1.0 and 2.0 are vastly different products.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    #24
    This makes no sense. You have no idea what you're saying.


    How about enlightening us, Nancy Grace?
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #25
    I would think that he'd fire you first.




    I think you mean: "Do thieves stay out of jail if they return the money that was stolen?"
     

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