Dustin Curtis does a great job summing up the Path - iPhone address book fiasco:
I did a quick survey of 15 developers of popular iOS apps, and 13 of them told me they have a contacts database with millons of records. One company’s database has Mark Zuckerberg’s cell phone number, Larry Ellison’s home phone number and Bill Gates’ cell phone number. This data is not meant to be public, and people have an expectation of privacy with respect to their contacts.
Usually, when I am curious about something Apple has done, I try to understand the design thinking that went into the decision. In this case, I can’t think of a rational reason for why Apple has not placed any protections on Address Book in iOS. It makes no sense. It is a breach of my privacy, and it has allowed every app I’ve installed to steal my address book.
Today, Path apologized and pushed an update to its app:
In Path 2.0.6, released to the App Store today, you are prompted to opt in or out of sharing your phone’s contacts with our servers in order to find your friends and family on Path.