Path spam mishap brings renewed attention to privacy concerns
It seems that just when Path was emerging from one privacy PR nightmare, another one landed on its doorstep. The day after the company reached 10 million users, The Verge related the story of digital marketer Stephen Kenwright who had an unpleasant experience with the app.
Kenwright downloaded the app to his phone, tried it, then removed it. The next morning, he discovered that despite the app being removed, a good many of his contacts had gotten robocalls and texts saying that Kenwright wanted to share items with them through Path. As The Verge explains, the robocalls were an unintended side effect of some phone companies turning texts into voice calls when they're sent to a landline.
Kenwright wasn't alone. The Verge documented several more cases of this happening, including a thread at Reddit. After The Verge posted its story, several users chimed in on the comments, saying the same thing had happened to them. Like every time you play a Zynga game, Path will try to make sure you draw in as many of your Facebook contacts as possible. However, the default in this feature is turned on, not off.
Path acknowledged that the initial messages were supposed to be sent during the brief time Kenwright had the app installed and not after. But it's this sort of thing that adds one more layer to an already-growing privacy backlash against the service. But until then, if you plan to try Path, double check to make sure you're not accidentally spamming all your contacts in the process.
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