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FourSquare Too.

Here was their response to my complaint.

Subject: Do you store my contacts?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

17/07/2011

to privacy Hi.

I recently downloaded the Android Foursquare application. It automatically started scanning the contacts on my phone.

Questions: 1. Does the application upload my contacts to FourSquare?

2. If so, does FourSquare store my contacts?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

18/07/2011

to <MYNAME> We do not store or upload contacts! It's a one-time search of your phone's contacts to find friends to add on foursquare.

See more information at foursquare.com/privacy/grid and https://foursquare.com/legal/terms

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

19/07/2011

to <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> Hi,

I think you must upload my contacts to your servers to identify which ones are on foursquare.

When you upload them, do you send them in plaintext or encrypted?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

19/07/2011

to <MYNAME> Right, yes, we do send info to the server but do not save anything. All foursquare pages are encrypted as of April 6. <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

20/07/2011

to <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> It's nice to know your pages are encrypted, but my question relates to when you sent all my contacts to your server from your mobile app. Did it use an encrypted connection to do this?

Thanks,

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

20/07/2011

to <MYNAME> yes, any information sent via any foursquare page, mobile or otherwise, is encrypted.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

20/07/2011

to <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> Thanks for the confirmation.

One final thing - it would be polite for your app to request permission before scanning my phone and uploading all my contacts to your server. Please consider it a complaint that it did not ask permission.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

20/07/2011

to <MYNAME> We totally agree! When you download foursquare, we list the permissions that you are giving us, including scanning your contacts list (which we do not save or store). See here: http://cl.ly/18433L2s3g1T13070y0X.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

21/07/2011

to <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> We don't agree.

It is not made clear that you are going to scan for my contacts and upload them.

You should explicitly make me aware and ask for permission in advance of doing that.

Furthermore, your tone and wilfully ignoring my legitimate complaint is annoying.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

21/07/2011

to <MYNAME> <MYNAME>, I'm sorry you feel that way! I have spent time talking to four different engineers (two server engineers about what info is stored and how information is transferred, and two Android developers) about your questions out of respect and concern for you as a user with a valid query. I take all user questions and concerns seriously and as a member of the Product team, pass on this sort of complaint so that we can be sensitive to that fact that if one person is asking/upset about something, there are probably others. Sorry if I did not do a good job of conveying the way I run community and support for foursquare in my tone. Sometimes email is hard in that sense. I hope you know that we care and appreciate your emails.

Best,

<FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT>

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

21/07/2011

to <MYNAME> Also, since we don't save your contacts in anyway, I'm not sure that we are actually "uploading" them. Is there something else that is bothering you? Perhaps I'm not understanding your concern completely--we aren't telling your contacts that you are using foursquare nor are we automatically adding them as your friends, we're merely searching your phone's contacts for other people you know who are also using foursquare so that you can then decide which of those you'd like to send a friend request to. Can you please let me know what part of this you find troubling so I can pass on your concerns? Thank you! <MYNAME> ✆ via gmail.com

21/07/2011

to <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> Uploading means essentially the same thing as sending for the purposes of this complaint.

uploading: present participle of up·load Verb: Transfer (data) to a larger computer system.

As for my concern, I can only repeat myself. It is disappointing that you don't immediately understand why this is a problem.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- <FOURSQUARE-SUPPORT> ✆

21/07/2011

to <MYNAME> Thanks for voicing your concern. I'm passing it on.




I think they answered your question pretty thoroughly and promptly, despite your intense neckbearding.

Certainly more thoroughly than the Path guys.


Stop being such a zuck[1], calling security-consciouness "neckbearding".

[1] A zuck: someone who, due to a combination of ignorance and malice, is dismissive of others' efforts to improve their security and protect their privacy.


I believe the “neckbearding” referred to berating this poor support staffer for his/her lack of technical expertise. The guy/gal was pretty clearly doing the best he/she could, and the responses from the “security conscious” user could have conveyed the same message with a lot less condescension.


The guy/gal was pretty clearly doing the best he/she could

Awww... The little guy was doing his best. Oh, wait. You're not talking about a puppy? but the customer-facing front of a company?


Strangely, qualified engineers and security experts keep turning down the consumer-facing support jobs.


OK seriously that was some of the best support responses to a customer complaint I've read in a LONG time. The support person was super friendly, spoke to several devs internally to get a good resolution, and really tried their best to help this annoyingly persistent customer with their complaint. Calling them names is totally uncalled for here in my view.


Yeah I failed to see the problem with his complaint. He complained, they responded, and responded, and even responded unprovoked.

"Do you store my contacts" .. "no." "Ok, uh, I don't like your tone. Please respond to this new issue."

I don't think this person understands that he doesn't actually have a complaint with foursquare.


If more of us were prepared to complain about this stuff, none of us would have to complain about this stuff.


From my perspective, after reading the above conversation, FourSquare provided a good level of support, and you were a rude and unnecessarily confrontational user.


The Foursquare app says that is wants the ability to access your address book and you gave it permission to do this by installing it.

You then press the "find my friends" button and are surprised by the fact that it sends information about your friends to Foursquare?

The only valid complaint you could have is if they stored the information on their server permanently but based on this conversation they don't which is the best procedure.

The second you click "find my friends" you've opted into this. How the hell do you think they are finding out who your friends are? Magic?

There is a fine line between annoying the user and doing things without their permission and in this scenario Foursquare is better than the majority of other applications out there.


" Furthermore, your tone and wilfully ignoring my legitimate complaint is annoying. "

It is standard customer service industry faux-friendliness/faux-compassion. It is infuriating but I guess it works on the idiot majority of customers because most companies talk this way


What a horribly pessimistic view. It's clear that they were working hard to help, what's your reasoning for thinking like that?




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