4 Things You Need to Know About Path’s Updated Privacy Policy and User Agreement

Path has published an update to its user agreement and privacy policy to clarify the types of information the Facebook competitor collects from users' mobile devices and how that information might be used. Here's what you need to know.

Path has published an update to its user agreement and privacy policy to clarify the types of information the Facebook competitor collects from users’ mobile devices and how that information might be used. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Path Has Your Phone Number

Like other social networks, Path collects and stores the bio data that you publish on your profile, such as your name, age, email address, gender, birthday, and zip code.  This information is private by default.

Because Path is a mobile application, the company also has your phone number. If you choose to add your friends by loading your contact list into the application, Path will have your friends’ numbers as well.

If you choose to enable the GPS on the app to check into various locations throughout the day, Path will also know where you are.   You can disable the location services through your mobile device settings.

Path also tracks your activity with cookies. You can disable the cookies by changing your browser settings.

2. Path Will Eventually Have Targeted Advertising, Unless It Sells Out to Another Company.

Path is currently not doing much with your information, but the language used in the privacy policy suggests that there may be advertising in the future. See this bullet point about how your information might be shared:

Here’s where the privacy policy gets really exciting. Among the list of acceptable reasons for Path to sell your information to third parties was this innocent-looking bullet point:

Your personal information is a “business asset” that can be offered to Facebook or any other potential buyer of the service.  (Which would defeat the point of hiding your cell phone number from your other social networks.) But there is a way out:

If you want to delete your information and your account, please contact us with a request that we delete your account and information. We will take steps to delete your information as soon as is practicable, but some information may remain in archived/backup copies for our records and as otherwise required by law.

3. If You Have a Problem with Path, Don’t Call iTunes.

Because the app is available for download through app providers like Google Play and iTunes, Path made it clear that customers should address complaints to the company directly, not to the app providers.

If Path is ever sued for patent violations or something related to the app itself, the company will handle it:

4. Don’t Publish Copyrighted Material Without Permission.

The previous bullet point does not include copyright issues that arise from any images, videos, or other content that users post to their profiles. As with Pinterest and any other photo-sharing site, be sure your content is royalty-free before you put it up. To report a copyright violation:

You can contact our Copyright Agent via email at dmca@path.com or by mail at Copyright Agent, c/o Path Inc., 301 Howard St. Suite 2200, San Francisco, CA 94105.

They will ask for a description of and links to the offending material – as well as proof that it belongs to you – and an address, telephone number, and email address where the company can reach you.

Image by Richard Mann via Shutterstock.