Federal Investigators Subpoena Pandora Over Sharing Smartphone Data
April 5, 2011 at 4:16 AM (PT)
PANDORA has been served a subpoena in a federal investigation regarding sharing of personal information by smartphone apps, according to an updated SEC filing. The apps in question run on the iPHONE and on ANDROID phones.
PANDORA said it was not a "specific target," reports SATELLITERADIOPLAYROUND.COM, and they believe that other subpoenas have been issued on an "industry-wide basis." However, reports of other subpoenas relating to this investigation have yet to surface and be confirmed.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL recently discovered that "PANDORA's iPHONE and ANDROID apps shared the users phone ID information, location, age and gender with third parties. Of the 101 smartphone apps tested during the investigation, 56 apps were found to transmit the smartphone's unique device ID to other companies without the user's consent or even awareness. The WSJ investigation found that the iPHONE apps sent more personal data than the ANDROID apps."
SRP notes PUMPKIN MAKER mobile app developer ANTHONY CAMPITI received a subpoena requesting information, however he said he could not recall who issued the subpoena or if it was related to this investigation.
In their SEC filing, PANDORA noted in the risk factors section that the company could potentially be subject to "fines by credit card companies and loss of our ability to accept credit and debit card payments" as a result of allegations/claims that the company violated laws and regulations related to data security and privacy.