Path’s high-profile iPhone privacy blunder earned app founder Dave Morin a sudden grilling in front of Apple CEO Tim Cook and his exec team, it’s been revealed, though sources suggest the App Store approvals process may be less stringent than assumed. Cook demanded the meeting after the Path debacle – in which it was revealed that the app uploaded each user’s entire address book to the Path servers – went public, Bloomberg‘s sources say.
Exact details of what went on within that meeting are unclear, but Morin publicly apologized for the mistaken data handling and misleading users about what happened when they installed the app. A new version of Path went live in early February complete with a fix to the problem.
Apple has always been cautious about what software ends up in the App Store, and the privacy glitch – later discovered to be present in multiple apps, not just Path – was an embarrassing one. According to a former Apple manager, speaking to Bloomberg anonymously, “thousands of new apps are submitted every month, and each gets reviewed for only about 15 minutes.”
Those apps that are rejected “get a second review by a committee” it’s said. The system is still more secure than Android’s “let anything in and then weed out the malware” approach, but fifteen minutes is arguably still not long enough to identify all potential issues, especially if nefarious developers have done their best to hide them.