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Tim Cook reportedly 'grilled' Path co-founder over privacy issue

post #1 of 33
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A new report claims Apple CEO Tim Cook harangued Dave Morin, co-founder of the company that developed the "Path" app, when he learned that the software was uploading users' address books to its servers without their permission.

According to people familiar with the meeting, Cook "hauled" Morin into Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to be "grilled" by him and other executives after hearing of the privacy violation, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported on Thursday (via Business Insider).

A developer discovered the behind-the-scenes upload feature in February. Though "Path," a social networking app, wasn't the only app uploading users' address books, its high-profile re-launch late last year left it in an unfortunate spotlight for the controversy.

The revelation struck a nerve with users and the media and prompted strong criticism of "Path." The company quickly apologized and removed the offending feature from its software.




Apple subsequently distanced itself from the situation by stating that apps collecting or transmitting personal information without obtaining permission are in violation of its guidelines. The iPhone maker promised to require explicit user approval before apps access contact data in a future software release.

Recent privacy-related concerns have attracted the attention of lawmakers. Two U.S. congressmen sent a letter to Cook last month over the address book issue. Earlier this month, Senator Charles Schumer called for an FTC investigation of Apple and Google over both the address book controversy and a potential loophole with geo-tagged photos. Both companies responded that they were willing to meet with the senator to discuss his concerns.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 33
Path should have been kicked off the App Store and all the people involved should have been banned from any future Apple app.

Uploading personal details from a users address book is unforgivable and a total breach of the trust we have with our devices.

It's about time Apple made a scapegoat of a big developer.
post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

Path should have been kicked off the App Store and all the people involved should have been banned from any future Apple app.

Uploading personal details from a users address book is unforgivable and a total breach of the trust we have with our devices.

It's about time Apple made a scapegoat of a big developer.

The fact that Dave Morin's balls are floating in a sealed container on Tim's conference table should serve as enough of a warning...
post #4 of 33
iOS has needed better protection of user data for a while. Thankfully the Path event raised this to the level required to get changes made.

I look forward to the improved privacy options that will be introduced on future iOS releases.

There are many apps stealing your details, thankfully that will soon be more controllable.
post #5 of 33
Considering all of the garbage apps Apple allows past their approval process, I think this is Apple's fault.
post #6 of 33
<Tim-Cook-Image caption="Ve hav vays to make yoo talk"/>

Where is Tallest when you need a jpg?

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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

<Tim-Cook-Image caption="Ve hav vays to make yoo talk"/>

Where is Tallest when you need a jpg?

About to go to sleep. If I remember tomorrow, I'll see what I can do.

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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

iOS has needed better protection of user data for a while. Thankfully the Path event raised this to the level required to get changes made.

I agree. They have displayed a warning icon whenever an app accesses your location for a while now. In retrospect it seems obvious they should have done contacts and calendars at the same time. But then that's true of a lot of things. Hopefully iOS 5.2 will address it.

Also I hope the App Store app checking team got a slight grilling too.
post #9 of 33
Good on you Tim. Keeping the customer king will keep the $$s flowing your way,
post #10 of 33

deleted


Edited by kellya74u - 7/24/13 at 9:54am
post #11 of 33
These actions from Apple re affirms the faith customers have in them, unlike Google who have become have a huge global advertisement agency instead of the innovative company it began in the first place.

Personally, I would like Apple to completely block off apps from accessing information of the users without even an option of the user enabling the share accidentally. If I want to share my personal information and the information of my contacts I can as well choose Android or be on Facebook.

I don't know what apple have done to prevent these kind of sly uploading of information, but Tim cook did say that they will fix it in later updates of iOS, not sure if he meant 5.1 or later.
post #12 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

About to go to sleep. If I remember tomorrow, I'll see what I can do.

Please do it! I am looking forward! And sleep well!
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Considering all of the garbage apps Apple allows past their approval process, I think this is Apple's fault.

I agree. It reflects badly on the developers that do things properly and drowns their apps under a steady flow of crap... not necessarily from little companies...

I'm thinking of some of Coca-Cola's apps, for example, as well as horrible things like the "undress girls scanner" or whatever it's called, which actually has several versions with diverse names, and doesn't actually do what it's supposed to (magically?) do, leading to many people being unhappy. While I would call this "evolutionnary process" (hey, if you really are stupid enough to 1- wanna do that and 2- think the iPhone is magical enough to undress people (although, with some advanced IR algorithm.... uh, let's not go there) you definitely should not be allowed to buy stuff anyway... but I'm a bit of an integrist then... vote with your wallet is a vote, it should require some kind of license ^^) still, Apple allows stuff in that has deliberate misleading descriptions, doesn't really work, crash, is plain ugly (ok, maybe that one is open to discussion...), steals information...

So yeah, Apple, step up your act, and tighten your grip on AAA companies! Anyone seen the _horrible_ Assassin's Creed for iPhone? It uses a freaking virtual controller, precisely what Apple explains should not be done.But then again it's Ubisoft, they're serious developers, let's only apply rules to little guys

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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellya74u View Post

In the app store prior to purchase, the description of the above program discloses that it will indeed upload just the names of all of your contacts so that its voice recognition servers can be more accurate later on. Likewise, it also states that it will log all of your dictation to their servers, again to improve the service over time. After purchase, you are presented with the license agreement where it is again stated & you have to agree to it. I didn't & deleted the app,; never used it. I am grateful the company, Nuance Communications, disclosed properly.

Siri also streams your voice to Apple servers, and I believe it is partly based on Nuance technology.
I wish there was a Dragon for iPad that doesn't stream to external servers, as there is a Dragon for Mac/PC. I'd gladly pay an iPad's worth for that particular app.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

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post #15 of 33
I wonder if moderated excommunication will work?

first offense - product banned automatically for three months and until fixed
second offense - product banned automatically for six months and until fixed and a session with Tim Cook
third offense - product banned automatically for a year, probation system for newly submitted products.

Ideas? Can anyone else here can come up with creative ways to punish violations and reward developers for not trying to screw their customers?

I think this what has been missing from any existing ecosystem. I am all for innovation, but if that means potential ID theft, malware, security risks, then we need to start developing ways to distinguish what contributes to innovation versus another supporting another OS prone to these things.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #16 of 33
While it is still the crooks fault for stealing if a bank leaves the alarm off and vault door open it's still the banks fault for not securing their valuables. For this I hold Apple responsible. I had no idea that one could get so much access to my user data simply by installing an iOS app. I thought the sandboxing, by definition, was designed to prevent that.

But why are we only talking about iOS when desktop apps have even more lack security and usually all the same data we have on our phones? I'd like to see desktop apps locked down, too.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

About to go to sleep. If I remember tomorrow, I'll see what I can do.

By definition, you cannot "remember tomorrow", it's in the future. It's almost an oxymoron
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

While it is still the crooks fault for stealing if a bank leaves the alarm off and vault door open it's still the banks fault for not securing their valuables. For this I hold Apple responsible. I had no idea that one could get so much access to my user data simply by installing an iOS app. I thought the sandboxing, by definition, was designed to prevent that.

But why are we only talking about iOS when desktop apps have even more lack security and usually all the same data we have on our phones? I'd like to see desktop apps locked down, too.

Indeed, and has anyone seen Pinterest's terms of use? Makes Facebook and Zuckerberg seem like saints.
post #19 of 33
I think "grilling" is probably an exaggeration. Dave Morin is a bit of a rock star in the software world. Not saying Apple doesn't have greater clout, but Cook does't want to go too far to alienate the likes of Morin, who have embraced Apple products.
post #20 of 33
Apple really should have made a warning example of this developer what happens when you dont comply with the service rules. They should have been automaticaly kicked out from the store atleast for some time or forever if they did it on purpose.

Or is "nakid ladies" a bigger issue than privacy theft!!!!!?????
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

By definition, you cannot "remember tomorrow", it's in the future. It's almost an oxymoron

\t
Future Perfect Tense

I will have sung

The future perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The future perfect tense talks about the past in the future.

http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/v...re-perfect.htm
post #22 of 33
The problem is fundamental. Companies continue to ignore the impact they have on consumers. The current way of resolving these problems tend to be "let's wait for something to break first, then may be we will look into it".

So problem A comes up. Everyone on the internet beats up on it. Government gets involved. Months pass by, even years (privacy is still a huge issue) before anything gets resolved (if it does get resolved).

Then problem B comes up. Then problem C. And so on. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It is a piecemeal approach that doesn't work. In the meantime, companies still treat these problems as "What, me worry?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

While it is still the crooks fault for stealing if a bank leaves the alarm off and vault door open it's still the banks fault for not securing their valuables. For this I hold Apple responsible. I had no idea that one could get so much access to my user data simply by installing an iOS app. I thought the sandboxing, by definition, was designed to prevent that.

But why are we only talking about iOS when desktop apps have even more lack security and usually all the same data we have on our phones? I'd like to see desktop apps locked down, too.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishanth View Post

These actions from Apple re affirms the faith customers have in them, unlike Google who have become have a huge global advertisement agency instead of the innovative company it began in the first place.

Doesn't re-affirm anything to me. I don't care if Tim Cook gave a developer a grilling or not. Apple made the iPhone and App Store, Apple made the device so that they have to approve every app to protect there users and Apple promoted this fact. The fact that there are apps like this on iPhones is ultimately Apples fault! They gave users a reason to trust every app and they've let every user down by not checking them well enough.

As a user I expect people to write apps to steal my data, but I expect Apple to stop them getting on my phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

Apple really should have made a warning example of this developer what happens when you dont comply with the service rules. They should have been automaticaly kicked out from the store atleast for some time or forever if they did it on purpose.

What so they can register again under a different name?
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

What so they can register again under a different name?

Being a developer isn't like spambots and trolls on an online forum. You can't just go in again under a different name, otherwise you'll lose the tens of thousands you may have spent on all forms of advertising. And have to spend that money all over again to advertise your new names.

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post #25 of 33
Which is why a reward and punishment system is a viable option.

Compliant developers get perks and breaks. The biggest perks perhaps could be better visibility in the App Store, to the grand prize being the omission of Apple's 30% cut up to a certain amount of profit.

Non-Compliant developers get the gutter, with varying degrees of enforcement. Many of these compliance issues seem to be rooted in either attention whoring or whatever profit maximizing tricks. These are problems that go well beyond putting more technical controls or addressing the issues on a piecemeal basis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Being a developer isn't like spambots and trolls on an online forum. You can't just go in again under a different name, otherwise you'll lose the tens of thousands you may have spent on all forms of advertising. And have to spend that money all over again to advertise your new names.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #26 of 33
I have to say I am really beginning to like Tim Cook's style as top dog. He seems to have good instincts and is not afraid to do things that SJ would not have done.

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post #27 of 33
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Originally Posted by techno View Post

I have to say I am really beginning to like Tim Cook's style as top dog. He seems to have good instincts and is not afraid to do things that SJ would not have done.

I'm not sure Jobs wouldn't have done the things we've seen from Cook thus far but Cook, in reference to this story, seems a little more collected than Jobs would have been. Jobs seems to call people up directly, catch them off guard, and chew them out while Cook appears to give them a heads up, let them sweat it out a bit, and likely isn't saying too much but seeing if they dig their own grave. Neither seem afraid to confront issues head on.

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post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new report claims Apple CEO Tim Cook harangued Dave Morin, co-founder of the company that developed the "Path" app, when he learned that the software was uploading users' address books to its servers without their permission.

According to people familiar with the meeting, Cook "hauled" Morin into Apple's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to be "grilled" by him and other executives after hearing of the privacy violation, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported

[ View article on AppleInsider ]

This is a breach of contract case and, where the conversion (legal term for "theft") of private data has been accomplished, AAPL should bring a Contort action and a dilution of Trademark action against the company and the individual defendants. Apple's good name is at risk and the litigation is necessary to recoup the damages done by Path/Morin.

It would serve as a deterrent to any other malware app creators and reassure Apple's customer base that Apple will not tolerate this kind of software on their systems (and, yes, Apple now has to patch iOS with code to check for this kind of breach, thus stealing processor cycles from end users, taking up valuable OS code space and costing the company additional OS development and upgrade expenses).

Grill? I'd spit-roast every one of those jerks.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

Path should have been kicked off the App Store and all the people involved should have been banned from any future Apple app.

Uploading personal details from a users address book is unforgivable and a total breach of the trust we have with our devices.

It's about time Apple made a scapegoat of a big developer.

Are you kidding?

I know we're all Apple users here and there's going to be a bit of bias, but gimme a break! This is about 90% Apple's fault and 10% Path's fault. Apple should have had better restrictions in place on what any given app can access from the start. Sure, you can argue that Path shouldn't have done it and that they broke some developer guidelines, but FFS, it's a no-brainer to build into the system some kind of protection for the user's personal info and an official way via the API for developers to access it so users can approve or reject. They do that already with location data. They couldn't make the logical next jump to personal data/addresses?

If you think Apple should ban any companies responsible, then fine but I guess Apple is going to have to remove all their own apps from the App store right after they ban Path.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

This is about 90% Apple's fault and 10% Path's fault. Apple should have had better restrictions in place on what any given app can access from the start.

I'm sort of jumping in the middle here, but should car manufacturers be held liable for people who speed and kill others because there wasn't a restriction put in place such that the car CANNOT speed?

Apologies if that analogy is irrelevant in this case, but I don't think it is.

I have hands, see? I can pick up objects, chuck them at people, and they could very well be hurt or die. It's MY responsibility to not do that. I have the ability to be a killer and I have the ability to be a healer. Acting in one form or another is up to me. Similarly, within iOS there's the ability to steal many forms of your users' information. I don't think morality is different for different people, but I guess it could be a question of not considering the theft of your users' personal information to be amoral…

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post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm sort of jumping in the middle here, but should car manufacturers be held liable for people who speed and kill others because there wasn't a restriction put in place such that the car CANNOT speed?

Apologies if that analogy is irrelevant in this case, but I don't think it is.

I have hands, see? I can pick up objects, chuck them at people, and they could very well be hurt or die. It's MY responsibility to not do that. I have the ability to be a killer and I have the ability to be a healer. Acting in one form or another is up to me. Similarly, within iOS there's the ability to steal many forms of your users' information. I don't think morality is different for different people, but I guess it could be a question of not considering the theft of your users' personal information to be amoral

I think your analogy is off slightly. It wasn't the users (i.e., drivers) who were to blame. Let's say it this way: should the car manufacturer be held liable if they leave a glaring flaw in their car's design such that a person can take control of the car remotely and run someone over with it? I say yes.

If you insist on sticking with your analogy, then let's apply it to a real world example other than Apple. Let's consider how that analogy applies to Microsoft. Your analogy would allow Microsoft to get off the hook 100% for all the security problems they've allowed to creep into Windows over the years and would lay the blame for viruses and security problems completely at the feet of malware creators and hackers. I don't agree with that in the very same way I don't agree Apple should be completely off the hook for this.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm sort of jumping in the middle here, but should car manufacturers be held liable for people who speed and kill others because there wasn't a restriction put in place such that the car CANNOT speed?

Apologies if that analogy is irrelevant in this case, but I don't think it is.

I have hands, see? I can pick up objects, chuck them at people, and they could very well be hurt or die. It's MY responsibility to not do that. I have the ability to be a killer and I have the ability to be a healer. Acting in one form or another is up to me. Similarly, within iOS there's the ability to steal many forms of your users' information. I don't think morality is different for different people, but I guess it could be a question of not considering the theft of your users' personal information to be amoral


Bad choice of analogy, since Apple should review the apps more carefully, when going through the approval process. Car manufactures can not review a person's speed habits and correct them unless, there place a GPS system into the car and cut off the engine when their speed. Thats not going to happen.
BUT apple has the situation, it reviews the app before going 'live' needs to do better job.
Quality control policy with approval process needs to be tighter.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

unless, there place a GPS system into the car and cut off the engine when their speed. Thats not going to happen.

It already does

Quote:
Quality control policy with approval process needs to be tighter.

I love that we have both sides here on the forum and both are sometimes completely right. "We need TIGHTER restrictions on what Apple approves!" "No, Apple needs to give more freedom!" It's a great dichotomy, and Apple's one of the few companies that can balance that and do it right.

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