Path and hundreds of other Apps upload the iPhone adressbook without asking. I think it’s stupid to question this behavior as long as the data isn’t used to spam the people.
Asking someone if it’s ok to upload someone elses data is pointless. Asking the people of whom the data is would be spam.
Contact information is normally public (phone books, websites, facebook,…) to make it easier to contact someone. Making it private only makes it harder to get in touch.
As soon as I give someone my contact data and don’t explicit state that it should stay private I can’t expect it. I give away contact information if someone asks me if I know someone who does X.
I see adress books not as private phone books but as a list of favorites. The data itself can be found somewhere else. With whom I am connected is public on facebook, twitter and many other networks. The only use of my adress book is to make it easier for me to get in touch with someone. It doesn’t matter if this is over phone, mail or Path.
If I type in every name from my contacts or upload a file makes no difference but in convenience. I will give every app access to my contacts as long as they don’t spam them. You can’t stop me from doing that.
See also Andreas rant that phone numbers are stupid.
Longer german version of this post.