The privacy problem with apps has been percolating for some time. Several high-profile reports have brought attention to this issue; Path’s embarassing privacy breach is just one of many cases where app developers have (intentionally or otherwise) harvested private details about app users by dipping into address books and location-data. App developers should take note: Get legal advice on privacy before you launch your app.
In the US, a patch-work of industry-specific privacy laws has made this a confusing area of law. In Canada, the landscape is still complex, but is underpinned by private-sector privacy laws that apply to “personal information” across all industries, at both the federal and provincial level.