Oops? Path Texts Man's Entire Phonebook @ 6AM
(Hi! Al Iverson here. I’ll be guest blogging a bit while Laura and Steve are off dealing with stuff.)
Over on the BRANDED3 blog, Search Strategist Stephen Kenwright shares how social network Path sent text messages to everybody in his address book, very early in the morning on Tuesday, telling everyone that he had shared pictures with him on Path. Except, according to him, he hadn’t.
This even resulted in a number of odd, robotic voice phone calls to Stephen’s friends and family. Why? Because nowadays, when you send a text message to a landline, most phone companies convert it into a voice call. The phone rings, you answer it, and a robotic voice reads the text message to you. The functionality is a bit creepy, and I can imagine that it would scare the heck out of somebody’s grandparents.
Path is saying that basically the whole thing is user error, but I’m not sure that I’m convinced of that. Even if Kenneth somehow missed this option at install time, Path likely needs to make this feature much more clearly opt-in and ensure that users know what they’re getting into. Right or wrong, if it keeps happening, it’s going to lead to more negative press and perhaps even new scrutiny from the FTC. You don’t mess around with SMS permission.