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iOS apps grabbing data without warning

Software designer Paul Haddad of Tapbots has sparked a buzz on the tech blogs after discovering the iOS Foursquare app was grabbing data, including email addresses and phone numbers, from users' iPhones and uploading it without their permission.

business Updated: Feb 16, 2012 13:02 IST

Software designer Paul Haddad of Tapbots has sparked a buzz on the tech blogs after discovering the iOS Foursquare app was grabbing data, including email addresses and phone numbers, from users' iPhones and uploading it without their permission.



The discovery made by Paul Haddad on February 14 has attracted widespread coverage across popular tech blogs including theverge.com and thenextweb.com; a February tweet send by Hadadd highlighting the problem has also been re-tweeted over 50 times.



Though Foursquare reached out via Twitter and, on the same day, updated the Foursquare app to feature a specific warming to users, the discovery raises further questions of data protection in the iOS community.



Earlier in February social networking app Path attracted controversy when it was discovered that the app uploads the user's entire address book, without asking explicit permission, when it is launched.



Image-driven social networking site Hipster was also discovered to be uploading the user's address book without explicit permission, but Hipster came in for harsher criticism on the tech blogs as it was sending this data over an unsecured HTTP connection.



While numerous iOS apps do send a variety of data from the user's phone, the majority, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, ask the user's permission first.