Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

Path busted uploading your whole iPhone phonebook to its servers

Path CEO/founder Dave Morin is a well-meaning guy, and I assume this was just a bad decision, and not an attempt to collect and hold your entire address book hostage. Plenty of apps let you look for friends in your phonebook contacts; it seems that it’s mostly the methodology that’s controversial.

But let this be a lesson: People will find out and make noise about this stuff. They will make you feel bad about it. It may wind up on the Yahoo homepage or in USA Today: “iPhone app steals your whole phonebook!” And it will cause anxiety.

(Plus, Morin did time at Facebook before he started Path, so he should have known this would happen. Fortunately, he also knows that it almost always blows over.)

So think about it before you build it, and don’t cut corners. Especially with stuff like phone numbers, email addresses, etc., where people still have old-school privacy expectations.

Update: Mike Arrington has a simple solution: Path should just delete all the phonebook data. People can always upload it later, on their own terms. I like this idea.