UPDATE: After seeing this story on Consumerist, a rep for Path wrote me — on my personal e-mail address suggesting I check out Stephen’s updated post and give Path a try for myself… In spite of the fact that Stephen still maintains that he never opted into sharing his address book nor did he have any pictures to share. Thanks, but I’d rather not bother my friends and family with texts at all hours of the morning.
Among the social networks hoping to someday unseat Facebook, Path has been a bit of a standout, with around 10 million registered users. But it’s not going to win over many consumers if it can’t stop its system from blasting out a useless text alert to every single phone number in a user’s address book at the crack of dawn.
Stephen Kenwright of UK’s Branded3 says his sleep was disturbed at 6 a.m. this morning when his father said he’d received texts to both his mobile and work phones alerting him to photos that Stephen apparently wanted to share. Problem is, Stephen hadn’t attempted to share any photos with anyone, let alone his pops, and certainly not at that hour of the morning.
Then his phone rang. His grandparents were calling because they’d received a bizarre phone call about these nonexistent photos and were trying to get some sort of explanation.
“Try explaining to your grandparents down the line that they couldn’t download Path to their landline even if they wanted to (they don’t want to),” writes Stephen.
The phone calls weren’t over yet, with Stephen’s own phone receiving a call from Path about these mysterious photos he apparently was so desperate to share.
Making things even more confounding is that Stephen says he’d actually uninstalled the Path app from his phone a day before the early morning texts and phone calls went out.
In February, Path agreed to pay $800,000 to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that the company collected personal information from their mobile device address books without their knowledge and consent.
That same week, the company’s CEO issued a public apology, promising it had deleted stored information and would not be involved in such sketchy behavior going forward. Which brings up the question of how Path still had Stephen’s address book info after he’d uninstalled the app.
Meanwhile, everyone in his address book was asking him about why on Earth he’d sent out an alert at 6 a.m.