The iPhone social networking app, Path, is on the path to destruction following some very discerning news that the company was upload user’s entire address books and sharing this data – all without user knowledge. Those who originally downloaded the Path app did so in order to check out a new social networking app that looked promising. However, Path told users that store information would not be distributed or shared in any way. Well, that’s not exactly what went down when Path was caught borrowing user contacts.
As soon as word got out that Path tapped into contact lists, users became outraged. So, Path apologized and updated the app to allow users to opt out of contact sharing. Is this enough? Did Path intentionally steal address book information from users? Is this legal? All of these questions are now at the top of every Path user’s mind – those who still have the app, that is.
A Bad Move for Path
Needless to say, many users dumped the Path app after hearing about this disappointing news, though one has to wonder how Path sneaked into the Apple App Store to begin with. You see, iPhone users have a certain trust happening with Apple apps. Unlike Android apps, those who use an Apple product trust that all apps have been screened and are ok to download. When an app like Path sneaks into the bunch, this makes users question whether or not Apple is still on top of its game.
Apple hasn’t commented on the Path story, thus far, but some expect Apple to kick the Path app out of the Apple Store altogether (this would be a good move for Apple, if the company wants to maintain user trust). No doubt being booted from Apple would be a hard lesson for Path, but there’s another hard lesson that the company will now have to swallow: the complete lack of trust from users going forward. Once an app gains a bad reputation, it’s really hard for that app to recover. Path was a lot of fun while it lasted, but I’m betting that this app doesn’t last much longer.
To Delete or Not to Delete?
So, if you currently have the Path app, will you delete this app now? Should you delete this app now? If Path still exists for iOS, you might want to consider the fact that the company did provide an update, and this update does allow you to opt out of any contact list sharing. Yet, the fact remains that Path seems to have duped users into sharing these details to begin with, and lying to the general population is never a good idea. Sure, Path apologized, but it may be too late for the app developers to redeem themselves. But, wait a minute, didn’t Facebook share information of this sort too?
Sure, lots of other companies have been caught sharing user information. The difference is that Path was creating a small movement amongst iPhone users, and now these people are inherently annoyed. Is it fair to hate Path and still use Facebook? Probably not; but this is the course of action that Path can expect from users.