Apple can make this whole iPhone address book fiasco all better with a simple fix. Following last week's Path scandal, amid the blogger fighting, turns out tons of other apps are also uploading user address book information to servers without asking the phone owner's permission. In fact, the way the iPhone works, any app can access contacts without a notification of any sort. These apps then have access to any phone numbers, email addresses and the names attached to them without users knowing. That's a privacy mess. But, the phone doesn't have to have this power. Apple can (and should) fix this.
Apple already knows the answer to this problem, as Steve Jobs explained it as part of the Apple privacy philosophy back at a 2010 D8 conference. "Privacy means people know what they are signing up for. In plain English," said Jobs in an interview flagged by Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz. "Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking if they get tired of you asking. Let them know precisely what you are going to do with their data." The iPhone does this for location services, asking if a user will allow the iPhone to track its location, enabling the GPS function. The iPhone should have the same mandatory barrier for uploading contact information.