Lately, privacy has become a huge topic of concern for the industry, particularly when it comes to mobile devices. Thirteen individuals have filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen mobile app makers for automatically uploading user address books without their permission.
The defendants in the suit are: Path, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Beluga, Yelp, Burbn, Instagram, Foursquare Labs, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Hipster, LinkedIn, Rovio Mobile, ZeptoLab UK, Chillingo, Electronic Arts, and Kik.
The lawsuit was prompted by reports last month that Path and a few other apps were uploading address books from users without their permission when the users were prompted to find friends to connect with. The companies claimed they weren’t doing anything wrong and figured that the users would have realized that access to contact lists were needed to provide that functionality. The news prompted a public backlash, despite the fact that Path, Apple, and others promised to fix the problem.
Is it ok for mobile app makers to automatically upload users’ address books or other data on their mobile devices?