Apple has released a statement claiming that all apps that collect address book data from iOS users, without explicit permission, are in violation of its policies.

The company says it is currently working on a software fix to prevent offending applications, like the Path social network app, from harvesting the data from your smartphone.

The statement from Cupertino follows over a week of controversy since it was discovered that Path stored data from the address books of its user base.

The company has since apologised and cleaned its servers, but other iOS apps still have the ability to collate the data without asking you first.

Violating guidelines

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said: "Apps that collect or transmit a user's contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines.

"We're working to make this even better for our customers, and as we have done with location services, any app wishing to access contact data will require explicit user approval in a future software release."

Apple's insistence that it will fix the problem in a 'future software release' doesn't offer any sort of timeline for users worried about what third party companies may be doing with their data.

The company's statement on Wednesday may have resulted from a letter sent to Tim Cook by members of the United States Congress, pushing Apple for answers.

Via: CNET