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US investigates mobile apps for privacy breach

Pandora revealed subpoena in a SEC filing

By CBR Staff Writer

The US government has reportedly started a criminal investigation into whether data collection by smartphone apps without authorisation or notification was a breach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Federal prosecutors are investigating how app makers collected and shared data.

Internet radio company Pandora revealed the subpoena in a US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

"We were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms," Pandora said in the SEC filing.

Pandora said it was not specifically targeted. It believes similar subpoenas had been issued "on an industry-wide basis to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications".

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