Oh Crap, Dad Just Got Home

Most of us have memories as kids of raising hell around the house. My mother, being the nurturing and kind person that she is, had little real recourse. Except the one thing. And it didn’t even matter if she said it every day, it worked.

“Wait until dad gets home, you’re in big trouble.”

Gulp.

Dad was really good at exactly two things. Making big 1960’s era mainframe computers work at scale was one of them. Scaring the daylights out of me with a spanking was another. He was the enforcer. If there was some sort of dispute in the house, the last thing you wanted was dad getting involved after work.

Well, dad just showed up. And he’s looking for Apple, the guy that’s handing out people’s contact information to anyone who asks for it. Who’s probably upstairs in his room practicing his innocent face and preparing his “but my friends stole the data even though the users trusted me with it” story. Along with the “hey, we ganged up and beat the crap out of that 4 year old over this, it’s all fine now” story.

And dad’s kinda pissed off right now because the kids just made him look like a moron over SOPA. Dad wants some payback.

This incident raises questions about whether Apple’s iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts.

17 thoughts on “Oh Crap, Dad Just Got Home

  1. Personally, I’d be rather insulted if I was your father and you compared me to Members of Congress or the Federal Government.

  2. Devon says:

    I tend to think of Congress as more like that special needs Uncle who you put up with to be kind. Not as much like Dad.

  3. I find all this brouhaha about Apple enabling exporting your existing contacts boring and old hat. What about the new interesting contacts you could or perhaps should be making instead? That’s (in my self serving opinion, full disclaimer) is where the real exciting action is at right now. :)

  4. Jorge Tiger Biter says:

    Haha you snitched nice touch.

  5. gregorylent says:

    given the hand in glove with governments and social media companies, uploading contacts is a bigger deal than just within america … and possibly dangerous

  6. And Waxman always ‘invites’ people up to Congress, too…so the implied spanking just might happen in view of the window.

  7. Mike – hire the Dad who shot up his daughter’s laptop… to shoot up an iPad… and scold Apple… from his lawn chair. :P http://bit.ly/yiAosT

  8. Erbo says:

    Apple’s already moving to remedy the issue by requiring that apps ask permission before they can access a user’s contact data: http://www.ipodnn.com/articles/12/02/15/company.responds.to.path.other.controversies/

    This was probably a no-brainer; I’d think they’d have seen the writing on the wall even before the gummint decided they’d like a word…

    • ben@lee.com says:

      I agree with you that Apple knew it was an issue. They probably wanted developers and themselves to milk it as long as possible.

      • Dabid Callahan says:

        … and now tell me, do you really think that it is going to stop?

      • Jumbo says:

        If you believe that you haven’t been paying attention.

        Apple has banned apps from the store for getting the users location when it wasn’t intrinsic to the functionality of the app.

        Google however was just caught spying on people using hidden forms to get around apple protection– a much bigger violation but nobody makes a peep.

        People pick on apple because it’s superior. Everyone making hay on this issue- like Dan Lyons- is an apple basher.

  9. Le Savant says:

    Hey, I have developed this new app. Not only does it know about your connections, it also pays attention to the ‘strength’ of that connection and knows who your ‘close’ friends are and curates the data accordingly. Less noise, more meaningful data.

    And it’s all seamless and looks pretty! Isn’t that great!

    How do I do it? Just trust me. Ask the internet, it says so.

    Investor Note:
    Of course, the app would need to upload the info about every call/text/email the user sends from the device and every meeting on their calendar. Small price to pay to know who you really care about (and vice versa – of course I will have the same data from your contacts too). Not just facebook – it is the HeartBook.

    Needless to say, I promise to treat all of this info in strict confidence and not tell even you about it.

  10. Kim Helliwell says:

    what’s hilarious about this is that Congress is just now getting involved after Path is fixed, and Apple is fixing this as we speak.

    Problem over, as far as I’m concerned, and Congress shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer dollars to get more grandstanding time and sound bites.

    • Erbo says:

      “Congress shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer dollars to get more grandstanding time and sound bites.”

      There goes a big chunk of what Congresscritters do. (Most of the rest of the taxpayer dollars they waste are to get more “campaign contributions.”)

  11. Danny Wong says:

    I wonder when someone will initiate a class-action on phone makers, especially. Like HTC, even their clock app has full access to my contact, sms, sensitive data log, GPS and all. I can’t even uninstall it.

  12. Will says:

    It’s really none of the Government’s business. If people don’t like it they can switch phones. Accidents happen…why do we need a huge bruhaha over it?

  13. Anonymous Coward says:

    Yahoo! does this too and it is much bigger than any startup. Yahoomail has loaded all the phone numbers of a friend of mine, from her mobile, and is showing them on the Web. She uses Blackberry and Windows, so this is not just an iPhone problem. (Sorry about posting as anonymous, but I’ve not yet managed to delete this data from Yahoo.)

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