Data Status: Nuked

Good for Path – In response to the address book issue from yesterday that sent the tech press into a romper room hissy fit (no offense, hissy fits are fun sometimes), they’ve decided to take the very simple and most effective remedy: nuking all the data.

Path’s blog post on the decision is here.

This is exactly what I recommended yesterday, although Path had come to the same conclusion independently. I had reached out to CEO Dave Morin before I posted last night but didn’t reach him. But we spoke very early this morning and he told me that they had already begun deleting all the data, well before I wrote my post, and would announce it later today.

As my partner MG Siegler says, there was absolutely nothing nefarious about this, but it shouldn’t have happened regardless.

I’m extremely proud of the way the company handled itself yesterday and today, and I’m more proud than ever to be an investor. Companies (people) screw up all the time. It’s how they handle themselves in a crisis that shows what they’re really made of.

11 thoughts on “Data Status: Nuked

  1. ajf says:

    Path willfully and deliberately violated their own published privacy policy and disregarded at least two Apple App Store Review Guidelines sections (17. 2, 22.7), not to mention numerous, explicit warnings (in the iOS developer documentation) about the handling of user data. When caught, they responded by trying, at first, to deflect blame and offering a lame email-to-remove scheme in a comment section on a third-party blog. Now, after a bunch of bad press and negative user reviews, they are claiming to have deleted the surreptitiously harvested data and providing a ‘privacy enhanced’ update to the app.

    And you are proud? Low-bar, apparently…

    To be clear, in my opinion, it’s the violation of their own stated privacy policy that is the defining element. They lied, plain and simple. Attempts by their investors to minimize and excuse this breach of trust are shameful.

    • David Callahan says:

      … good comment. Shame on them — Unfortunately, they will lose only a few subscribers… and life will go on, until they abuse their trust again, a la Facebook.
      As a company, they are tainted… its management team will have time to “enjoy” the consequences of their actions…

  2. Roberto says:

    Come on… that’s only half the story: Dave Morin knew exactly what he was doing. They just forgot to encrypt the data at transport so that no one would find out.


  3. Eli says:

    Yep. They’re really on their game right now. Apple should be the target of any further scrutiny. I trust Path, but that’s way more than I can say for 99.999% of the apps out there.

  4. Dave Morin says:

    dave morin is perhaps the biggest fame whore in all of silicon valley. he really is a tremendous bore – and this should be no surprise to people who have worked with him.

  5. Avid says:

    What a joke. Many of the tech, ass lickers are praising Morin. All he did was say sorry, which anyone trying to curb the damage would do. If this hadn’t come to light they would’ve carried on with what they were doing. As for the giant panda of tech, Arrington, sticking up for them – well, theres a surprise. I bet if I now click over to MG smugglers log he will be doing exactly the same. Le sigh.

    Its just another example of a tech company pretending they care after the fact. If they cared about their users this would never have been an issue, because they wouldn’t have done it in the first place.

    I’m just off to steal my dinner from the local supermarket. If I get caught, I’m really sorry. There, now there shouldn’t be any ramifications….

  6. GW says:

    exhibit 1 for why VCs/investors can’t really be legit journalists … this was inevitable

  7. human mathematics says:

    No need to beat around the bush. It was a full-on hissy fit.

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