Calif A.G. Says Delta App Violates Privacy Law

Kamala-D.-Harris-ACalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris has sued Delta Air Lines for failing to include a privacy policy in its mobile app.

The complaint, filed on Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, charges Delta with violating the 2003 California Online Privacy Protection Act. That law requires Web site operators that collect personally identifiable information from state residents to conspicuously display links to privacy policies.

"Although the Fly Delta app collects California consumers' PII, there is no privacy policy available to consumers within the app itself," the lawsuit alleges. The complaint adds that the app has been downloaded "millions" of times since October of 2010.

Harris is seeking an injunction banning Delta from continuing to offer the app until it adds a privacy policy and fines of up to $2,500 per download.

Delta's Web site has a privacy policy, but that document allegedly doesn't outline everything collected by the Fly Delta app -- including geolocation data and photos -- the complaint alleges.

The suit comes six weeks after Kamala notified 100 companies, including Delta, that they risked an enforcement action if they failed to include privacy policies to their apps. Other companies she reportedly warned include OpenTable and United Airlines.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of privacy-related actions Harris has taken. Earlier this year, she convinced six companies with app marketplaces -- Google, Apple, Research in Motion, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Amazon -- to say they will require that apps available on their platforms have privacy policies. Several months later, Facebook agreed to do the same.

This summer, Harris created a new unit within the office, the Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit, in order to enforce a variety of privacy-related laws, including regulations about data collection, financial records and identity theft.

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