US Gov Investigating Smartphone App Privacy per Pandora’s SEC Filing

Posted by at 3:13 pm on April 4, 2011

Pandora in an SEC filing on Monday revealed that a federal grand jury was investigating the privacy of Android and iPhone apps. A subpoena earlier this year had asked it for data on how it was sharing information as part of a larger look at Android and iOS. The Internet radio provider wasn’t a subject of the investigation, but it was inclined to believe there was an investigation underway on an “industry-wide basis.”

The company was worried the investigation would both cost money and reflect badly on the company. Even if Pandora hadn’t done anything wrong, the stigma of an investigation could hurt Pandora’s market share from customers worried about perceived privacy invasions. Pandora collects e-mail addresses but has little that could directly tie an account to a user, such as the age, area, gender, and anything willingly put up on a profile.

Neither Apple nor Google has detailed the nature of the investigation.

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