Path Reaches Settlement with FTC Over Address Book Privacy Concerns
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.
"Over the years the FTC has been vigilant in responding to a long list of threats to consumer privacy, whether it’s mortgage applications thrown into open trash dumpsters, kids information culled by music fan websites, or unencrypted credit card information left vulnerable to hackers," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “This settlement with Path shows that no matter what new technologies emerge, the agency will continue to safeguard the privacy of Americans."
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.