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In response to numerous complaints that app developers are able to retrieve and store Address Books data from iOS devices, Apple finally issued a formal statement in an email in which the company says it will revise its app development guidelines and app approval process to specifically require app developers to get direct permission from users to access the address data on their devices.

A few weeks ago, complaints started coming about how iPhone apps like Path, Facebook, Instagram, and Foursquare are, according to Venturebeat.com, able to pull names, email addresses and/or phone numbers from users’ devices and store that data on their servers. Typically these type of apps will ask permission of users to access their contact database, but it was discovered the developers of Path were doing so without making that access clear to users of their app.

According to Binzaman.com, this privacy issue was first exposed by iOS application developer Arun Thampi. The mobile-journaling app Path was uploading and storing the contents of users’ iPhone address books on its servers without permission. Path has now deleted this data and apologized. Meanwhile, the focus is on Apple for granting application makers too much access and not protecting its mobile users.

Also, though iOS mobile users may knowingly allow access to their Address Book there is no way to disable that access without the suspected app being deleted entirely.

Source: AllThingsD

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  1. Chris Hoffman
    February 20, 2012 at 3:14 am

    The Path-apologists drew attention to this issue with their "but everybody does it" defense. Good thing! Glad to see Apple doing this, even though they've obviously known it's normal practice for a long time and it's just the press and government scrutiny pushing them.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      February 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      You're correct. Apple does seem to respond when it comes to maintaining a strong, positive, public image. 

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