Feds Looking Into Smartphone Privacy
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey are investigating whether smartphone applications illegally obtained or transmitted information about their users without proper disclosures, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Online-music streaming service Pandora, which plans an initial public offering, says in an SEC filing that it has been subpoenaed in an investigation probing information-sharing by mobile applications. John Letzing and Stacey Delo discuss.
The investigation is examining whether the app makers fully described to users the types of data they collected and why they needed the information, such as a unique identifier for the phone or its location, the person familiar with the matter said. Collecting information about a user without proper notice or authorization could violate a federal computer-fraud law.
On Monday, online music service Pandora Media Inc. said it had received a subpoena related to a federal grand-jury investigation of information-sharing practices by smartphone applications.
Pandora disclosed the subpoena in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The Oakland, Calif., company said it had been informed it is “not a specific target of the investigation.”
Pandora said it believed similar subpoenas had been issued “on an industry-wide basis to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications.” A Pandora spokeswoman declined to comment.
Personally, as an Android owner and Pandora user, I’m kinda interested in this… I certainly don’t want my info spread around the web.