are iphone apps secretly stealing your data...

In case you had not heard, an iPhone social networking app called Path was recently in  the news for taking users address books and uploading them to their servers.

To be honest about it, they "had the users permission" to look for friends on the service by checking the address book. They however never mentioned they would upload your entire address book to their servers and keep it there. If you want to know more, there is a good article at Gigaom profiling the situation and Path's apology.

However this post is about a great article written by David Smith with some very concise information about iOS privacy, Apple, developers, and the data on your phone.

I especially like the "guide" to data access he provided...

Your Data in iOS

  • Email/Account Info: No Access
  • Voicemail/Calls/FaceTime: No Access
  • Text Messages: No Access
  • Notes: No Access
  • iTunes Account Information: No Access
  • Real-time Location: Access after user approval
  • Twitter Account: Access after user approval
  • Photos: Access to all photos after location approval
  • Address Book: Access to all contacts
  • Media Library: Read-Only access to the movie, music, & podcasts
  • Calendar: Access to calendar event information
  • Camera/Microphone: Access while application running
  • UUID: Access, but deprecated and will likely disappear soon

Please read the full article "Understanding iOS Pricacy" if you are at all interested. And please note... you SHOULD be interested as we have a lot of personal and private information on our phones and we should know what it means when we answer YES to an application asking for access.