The latest privacy controversy in the mobile space concerns social apps uploading their users’ address books to their servers. Social photos app Path was caught doing it last week, but it’s since emerged that just about every big social app – Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Instagram included – was doing this. Two key developments happened yesterday. First, two US Congressmen sent a letter to Apple asking if its developer policies were falling short, and whether it should be forcing app developers to request explicit permission to share users’ address books, just as it already does for their location. Within hours, Apple had this statement: “Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines. We’re working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release.”

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