February 13th, 2012
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
People’s contact info isn’t just any old information it’s intensely personal and private.
The tech community is treating this situation as if Path accessing trivial, inconsequential information.
Maybe I’m in edge case but I’ve never lost my phone, so I have a lot of intensly personal email addresses and phone numbers stored there. Some examples
– My ex-wife and all of her family members
– Every girl I’ve dated since college
– My personal and corporate attorneys
– Every doctor I’ve had or seen for 15 years
– My accountant and financial advisor
– Every client I’ve worked with at 10+ companies
– Influential musicians I’ve spent years working with who rarely give out their numbers
– Cell phone and home phone numbers of VCs and entrepreneurs
In fact I’d be hard-pressed to find anything more personal other than the actual conversations and emails I’ve actually had with these people.
This situation doesn’t even require a slippery slope argument: Path is already at the bottom of the hill.
2. Path isn’t taking my information to “help” me, they are taking it to help themselves.
Path’s explanation that they lifted my address book to help me is incomplete – The complete thought is ‘Path lifted my address book to help me use their product.’
Thats a big distinction. Remember: Path needs me to use their service more than I need their help.
It goes like this: Path’s success depends on my adoption. My adoption depends on great content. Great content in a personal network only comes in your personal contacts.
That’s why Path is stealing my information, to help themselves.