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According to a Dec. 6 statement by the attorney general, Delta was one of the companies that received notice from the attorney general that they had 30 days to post privacy policies within their mobile apps informing users about what PII is collected and how it is used (210 DER A-16, 10/31/12).
“Losing your personal privacy should not be at the cost of using mobile apps, but all too often it is,” Harris said in her office's statement. “California law is clear that mobile apps collecting personal information need privacy policies, and that the users of those apps deserve to know what is being done with their personal information.”
In a Dec. 7 statement to BNA, Delta spokesman Paul Skrbec said that the company “does not comment on pending litigation.”
The law, which was enacted in 2004, clearly applied to websites, but as mobile apps became prevalent the scope of the law came under review.
In February, six mobile app developers whose platforms represent 95 percent of the market--Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft Corp., and Research in Motion Co.--signed a Joint Statement of Principles with the California attorney general agreeing to strengthen privacy notifications and protections to bring them in line with the California law (35 DER A-33, 2/23/12). Facebook Inc. joined the apps agreement in June (121 DER A-4, 6/25/12).
“If developers do not comply with their stated privacy policies, they can be prosecuted under California's Unfair Competition Law and/or False Advertising Law,” the California attorney general's office warned in its statement.
In April, an official from the California attorney general's office told app developers they had six months to adapt to the principles or be notified of violations.
On Oct. 26, the attorney general sent formal notification letters to developers whose apps it alleged were not in compliance with the law and gave them 30 days to comply (210 DER A-16, 10/31/12).
Delta's failures to comply with the online privacy act constitute “unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts and practices” that violate California's Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §Section 17200, according to the complaint.
The attorney general's office has requested that the court permanently enjoin Delta from similar unlawful conduct and order Delta to pay $2,500 for each violation of the Unfair Competition Law. It has also requested that the court award it attorneys' fees and costs of investigation.
Adam Miller, supervising deputy attorney general, represented California.
By Katie W. Johnson
Full text of the complaint is available at http://op.bna.com/pl.nsf/r?Open=kjon-92rkaa.
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