FYI. Dave Morin Didn’t Lie To Gawker About Path Storing User Data

Some people always see the good in people and some people always see the bad … Gawker just published a post with what at first seems to be some pretty damning evidence against Path founder Dave Morin, publishing an email where he assured writer Ryan Tate that Path wasn’t storing user data.

While today’s headlines would lead one to believe that the statement was a lie, Morin (who is a friend) tells me that the exchange is misleading out of context. He was actually talking about Path 1.0 in the email, which lacked the “Add Friends” feature and therefore did not store any data.

The “Add Friends” data storage was added in Path’s second iteration, so he was technically telling the truth at the time. Again, Path 1.0 did not store data — it was a completely different product back then.

I’m waiting for an official statement from Morin, in the meantime, here is the [old] Gawker email.

[Gawker: Is it correct that Path uses iPhone address book data? Thanks for any guidance!]

Hey Ryan,

Thanks for the good question.

Path is created to share personal moments with your close friends and family. From the end user’s point of view, access to your iPhone contacts makes sharing with your closest friends and family convenient.

Like many apps (i.e. Skype and Kik ) — Path allows you to access your friends’ and family’s contact information from your own iPhone contacts in order to find them on the network.

One of our core principles here is that you must have contact information for someone in order to find them on Path. Usually, you have contact information for your close friends.

Path does not retain or store any of your information in any way.

That help?


[Emphasis added.]

Update: And here is the official statement from Morin …

Our email exchange from November 15, 2010 was absolutely accurate.  That was the day Path launched and we were not storing any address book information at that time, as I clearly stated in my email.  We introduced FriendRank in March 2011 and that is when we began retaining contact information with the intent to maximize the Path experience, specifically by:

1) showing users a list of friends on Path

2) suggesting friends users might want to connect to

3) telling users when any of their contacts joined Path

Image via Joi Ito/Flickr