Yesterday, developer Arun Thampi noticed that the Path iPhone app uploads a user’s address book to their server without asking the user first. And by address book, I mean all the phone numbers and addresses and email addresses of everyone in your phone’s address book just gets sent off to Path. And not only that, Path stored that information on its server. To their credit, Path apologized and deleted the data from their server.

But this is a larger problem than just Path. In a post from earlier today, Dustin Curtis reveals the dirty little secret of iPhone developers everywhere.

It’s not really a secret, per se, but there’s a quiet understanding among many iOS app developers that it is acceptable to send a user’s entire address book, without their permission, to remote servers and then store it for future reference. It’s common practice, and many companies likely have your address book stored in their database. Obviously, there are lots of awesome things apps can do with this data to vastly improve user experience. But it is also a breach of trust and an invasion of privacy.

I did a quick survey of 15 developers of popular iOS apps, and 13 of them told me they have a contacts database with millons of records. One company’s database has Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’ cell phone number. This data is not meant to be public, and people have an expectation of privacy with respect to their contacts.

Any app, from Angry Birds to Fart App 3000, can just grab the information in your address book without asking? Not okay!

 

Some popular apps that use this hidden function: Angry Birds, Facebook, and TextPlus 4 all transmit address book data to a server.

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Will Google be your next Cable TV Company?

In no time, IT giants have taken over the mobile industry.

http://i1.wp.com/www.priceinindia.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/32-smart-tv.jpg

Now they charge for the next big step, our TVs. Microsoft, Google and Apple has a lot going on and foremost cable television companies may find it difficult to compete.

Actually, it’s amazing how good the TV industry has held up. TV is still in the living room and kitchen, and in most cases, the signals get to you in the same way as before.

The most sensational thing that has happened is that many households in recent years also have begun to watch TV via the broadband network. It has in Sweden led to that Telia has about half a million TV customers.

Though just as Freeserve, Teracom / Boxer, Viasat and Canal Digital, Telia engaged principally in selling complete packages with a variety of channels. Then spice up the phone company with additional services.

New players are entering and they take advantage of new technology that allows them to pick up regular television with cell phones and all forms of computer games and other IT services.

Perhaps we are now facing the very same big change in broadcasting as music and mobile industry has already gone through. They have seen how the big IT companies coming in and changing the way the established companies.
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In a year we might start to see 2TB 2.5″ SSD’s

Intel and Micron’s joint venture IMFT has announced that it has produced a 128Gb die. A package combining eight such dies together would be small enough to fit on a fingertip and boast an unprecedented 128GB capacity. Mass production will start in the first half of next year, and devices using the new dies are likely to start shipping in 2013.
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FBI Used a Fake Cell Phone Tower To Search a Guy

Federal authorities used a fake Verizon cellphone tower to zero in on a suspect’s wireless card, and say they were perfectly within their rights to do so, even without a warrant.

Federal authorities used a fake Verizon cellphone tower to zero in on a suspect’s wireless card, and say they were perfectly within their rights to do so, even without a warrant.

This is something, the Federal authorities in the US put up a fake cell tower. Just to get some information of a guy, somewhat overkill as with their warrant they could just have asked verizon for that same info..

The question i guess is was this right of them to do? According to the jury it was their right under the fourth ammendment and considered a standard search. (more…)

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