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Technology Review: Apple Ignored Warning on Address-Book Access

Apple was warned as long ago as 2010 that the popular Gowalla location-sharing iPhone app was uploading users’ address books without alerting them, Technology Review has learned.

This raises questions about why Apple didn’t do then what it announced it would do yesterday. In a statement, the company said software upgrades for iPhones would be issued to protect users from the practice, which is forbidden.

Apple’s statements follow a series of revelations over the past week concerning apps that access users’ address books. The revelations began when an independent developer discovered that the two-million-user-strong social network Path collects users’ address books, assembling vast collections of names, e-mails, and phone numbers without consent. Others found that some other popular apps, including the location-sharing services Foursquare and Gowalla, do the same. Transmitting and storing users’ address books exposes them to an increased risk of their personal data being leaked, perhaps through an attack like the one that extracted credit-card details from Sony last year.

The criticism that followed these discoveries—compounded by evidence that Apple ignored a warning about such behavior from academic researchers in 2010—has led to calls for the company to alter iOS and reform its famously opaque application approval process…….Learn More

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Posted by on Feb 18 2012. Filed under Current News, Post To Slider, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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