Pointing The Finger At Everyone Else

The scandal du jour in the tech space is Path uploading address book data to the servers to hopefully make finding your friends easier. I usually don’t comment on these things because, well, they drive me a little crazy. Scandals — technical, political or in entertainment — just don’t interest me that much. At least the way I see it, they distract from the bigger issues confronting us as nations and human beings [1].

Let me sum this thing up for you:

  1. Path immediately apologized and changed their app to ask first
  2. Some people weighed in saying its Apple’s fault for not asking
  3. Another group said lots of apps upload data while others said that isn’t true
  4. Other people said Path’s apology wasn’t good enough
  5. Still other people said companies in a hurry make mistakes

You’d think there was nothing left to say but here I am weighing in anyway. I have two comments:

First, at what point as developers do we abdicate responsibility for the actions of our own apps? If my app steals your personal data, that is my responsibility. When my app crashes it is my fault. When my app doesn’t perform correctly it is my fault. I’m tired of all the finger pointing at everyone else. The guys at path knew it was wrong. The guys at Instagram knew it was wrong. I don’t care whether you are only using that data for good. The fact that you do it is evil. And you know it.

Second, why is it that any time there is a hint of a scandal that even tangentially involves Apple, the scandal gets blown out of proportion? Man, it is tough to be a lightening rod.

[1] And I believe that is often by design.