Last week, it comes to our knowledge that the popular iOS app Path was uploading its users entire address books records to the company’s server without even informing or asking the user about the access on their address book. It was recently discovered by a blogger that highlights the hidden request of application to completely uploads the whole address book, but everything settles down as Path quickly moves to push a new update in the App Store with the new code in the application, and removed all the stored data from the company’s server to settle down the issue completely.
However, in this matter, new tweaks come out to protect the iOS users and start informing the users about the other applications who silently access the entire address book from your iOS device without even asking the user for authorization. The issue was highlighted by media blogs last week, and this brings Congressmen’s to make contact with Apple on the issue and other companies and developers who have been quietly accessing the information without user permission.
The Next Web reported that U.S Congressman Henry Waxman and G.K. Butterfield had no weighs on this issue, and sent a letter to Apple requesting information on the company’s data collection policies, which they have imposed on App Store developers.
In a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the legislators state:
“This incident raises questions about whether Apple’s iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts.”
Butterfield and Waxman then quote parts of Apple’s iOS developer website which states that Apple provides a comprehensive collection of tools and frameworks for storing, accessing and sharing data. It is then questioned whether Apple requires apps to request user permission before transmitting data about a user.
Waxman and Butterfield both have requested Apple to submit their answers to the provided question by February 29, including the topic of Apple’s definition of user data, how the App Store reviews this data request from the different iOS devices. It’s not the first time that Apple has been asked by congressmen’s , in the past we have seen both Apple, and Google was questioned by court to represent their location data gathering polices and how the actual work is happening.