During sign-up we ask for access to your address book so that we can help you find your real-life friends on Planetary. You don't have to do this, but—if you don't—it can be difficult for you to find people to follow.
How does this work?
If you give the Planetary app access to your address book, the app will look through your contacts and see if there's anyone that has already started using the service.
If it spots someone in your address book who is using Planetary, the app will let you know. Then you can decide whether or not you want to follow them.
What does the app match against?
When you sign up for Planetary you can decide to be listed in our user directory. If you want to be listed, we take either your phone number or e-mail address and create a 'one-way encrypted' version of it.
When we access someone's address book we encrypt all their contact details in the same way. Then the app does a search to see if any of the encrypted contact details match. If they do, it will let you know it's found someone for you to follow.
Am I giving up all my friends' information if I allow it access?
No. We don't think it's right for someone to be able to give up information about their friends without their permission. For this reason, we always handle this information in a one-way encrypted form.
First we create an encrypted version of all of the e-mail addresses and telephone numbers on your phone. Then we try and match that encrypted version against encrypted versions of the e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of our existing users.
At no point do we use their real telephone numbers to match, and we will never take information about your friends off your phone in a form that we (or anyone else) can read.
Where can I find out more about how my data is used?