It looks like Path has heeded the words of investor Michael Arrington.
Yesterday, the startup faced a major privacy backlash when it was revealed that the social app was uploading user’s address book data without actually telling the user. Co-founder and CEO Dave Morin was apologetic, and there was a lot of argument about how big a deal this was (especially since the practice was in-line with Apple’s policies), but Arrington had a simpler suggestion: “Just nuke all the data.”
And in a new blog post, Morin says that’s exactly what Path has done. Well, first he explains that the app was using the data for innocuous purposes (alerting users when one of their contacts joined Path). And there’s a new version of the Path asks you to opt-in before it uses this data. But Morin also says:
We believe you should have control when it comes to sharing your personal information. We also believe that actions speak louder than words. So, as a clear signal of our commitment to your privacy, we’ve deleted the entire collection of user uploaded contact information from our servers. Your trust matters to us and we want you to feel completely in control of your information on Path.
As Arrington noted, it shouldn’t take too long for Path to collect the data again from the users who want to share it. Still, this seems like an effective symbolic gesture that says, “Yes, we screwed up, and we want to make amends.”