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Old 09-10-2017, 10:09 AM
Junior Lounger
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 75

I did exorbitant amounts of research, and that's why I chose Apple. Research isn't going to reveal ahead of time that the iPhone goes through your entire Contacts list and sends the address info to their servers. This is the complete antithesis of their publically stated position. Not even diehard users knew that the phone does this, and many were even convinced that it does not (though they couldn't substantiate their belief). I chose Apple *because* of its publically professed position on individual rights and privacy, and did the research to ensure that it would work with my existing solution (which didn't come cheap, by the way).

Will other apps work? Let's be clear that this is beside the point that the information has already been sent -- all of it. Notwithstanding that fact, perhaps other apps will work. It will require time for research and trials on my part, and characterization. Now I have to trust a 3rd party, which undermines a large part of the reason for switching with Apple. I did endless research *before* switching, over a long period of time, just to avoid the situation where I'm caught like this and needing a solution in zero time. I don't have time to toss aside my other priorities like this to respond to a situation of Apple's making.

You provided voluminous description of the security architecture. That so misses the point. I'm talking about simple respect for ownership and privacy. They can have the best security in the world, but if they don't respect your ownership rights, it raises the question of what else *are* they silently taking. You claim that it is a bit of harmless data, but that is so not your decision, nor Apple's. You also said that it is just the small bit of address data, but it goes through your *entire* Contacts list and obtains it for *every* contact. As well, there is absolutely no basis for the assumption that this is the only data taken. Other parties'/people's opinions about what is too much, and how bad it really is, is irrelevant. It is my data, and it is what I think that matters (along with what all of my contacts think, I suppose). It doesn't need to be justified to anyone else.

It's like having your landlord barge into your apartment, taking photographs of documents. It's irrelevant that your neighbour says that it was limited in volume (without know what all was photographed!) and that there could have been more sensitive information taken (again, without know what all was taken), and that they could have trashed the place or killed someone, so it's really not that bad, and that the perpetrator is really quite an upstanding person in public, just look at his/her public conduct.

You mentioned usability -- I said before that their total disregard for ownership and privacy can be rationalized any number of ways, but it doesn't change the fundamental fact that it is a clear an flagrant violation. Simply ignoring this speaks volumes about it being easier to seek apologies rather than permission (though as I said, they aren't necessarily even doing the former, not that an apology is meaningful when you knowingly make an obvious and outright transgression). I don't believe that it is possible that they made such a service/app design decision while oblivious to the privacy implications. Given that they are the apparent juggernaut champion of privacy, such a conjecture would not be any more comforting than the fact that they decided knowingly.

A further point about usability is that they could have the *same* usability by simply requesting permission. They do this for all the other apps on their phone. Is your entire Contacts list any less sensitive than the info being processed by those other apps? One can argue that it is *more* sensitive, as you are put into the position of steward for other people's personal information. Because of this, the user's obligation is even greater, and hence, not even the user should be making assumptions about the sensitivity of the data. At the very least, he/she should lean toward erring on the side of caution. So the convenience argument holds no water. On the contrary, it seems exceptional in the oddest manner that the Contacts app was left out of the list of apps for which you can set permissions for sharing location data.

Last edited by LoungeRat; 09-10-2017 at 10:42 AM.
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