Jul 102009
 July 10, 2009  Posted by  Business, Online

It started with a situation described on The Consumerist:

Don’t install the iPhone app iDrive Lite if you value the privacy of your contact list. Avi Muchnick, one of the developers behind the free, consumer-friendly online graphics suite Aviary, used iDrive to backup his Gmail contact list when switching to a new phone. The next day, he awoke to discover that iDrive’s parent company, Pro Softnet Corp, had spammed every single entry in his contact list without his permission.

iDrive Lite Support posted a response on Avi’s blog and also responded to an email he sent, both of which were posted on The Consumerist. iDrive Lite’s response:

First, I apologize for the event. I really do. We also posted a comment on your blog earlier today. Obviously the referral system is not working as intended, and we have put a stop to this.

We have only a few lines of agreement ( when one installs the IDrive Lite app ) which includes the line related to sending referral emails to contacts. While if we were to implement this now, we would do this differently and entirely get rid of the referral part, we did our best to inform. Also, this referral was run only for a few users, and has been stopped.

There’s a take-home message in there somewhere for both users and app developers.

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