Dave Winer

How the tech industry is a virus

November 15, 2010: 11:56 AM ET

Download the latest iPhone app at your own peril. This year the scam is to grab all the user's data and resell it.

by Dave Winer, contributor

I woke up this morning to stories in my aggregator about Path.com. I had heard about it before its launch, and was intrigued by the name. Turns out it's yet another instant photo sharing iPhone app. I have limited enthusiasm for them, I already use my iPhone, extensively, with Flickr and Twitter.

Even so, first thing this morning I signed up for a Path account on my iPhone.

After entering my name and email address, gender and password, it asked if it can use my location. I said yes. Then I went to the People section to start looking for friends to share my pictures with. I was astonished to see a list of suggestions, all of whom are people I know. I was confused. How could they know I know all these people? I jumped to an incorrect conclusion, they were all following me. I smiled -- it's really cool that all these people, some of whom I haven't spoken with in years, are following me on Path. After happily adding eight people (noting that Andrew Baron had signed up twice, with two different email addresses), I realized that can't be it. Some of these people are so totally offline they could never be using this app on its first day of public existence. More

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