Siding with Delta Air Lines, a California appellate court has ruled that the company's app need not comply with a state law requiring Web site operators to post privacy policies.
The Court of Appeal's First Appellate District accepted Delta's argument that a federal law governing airlines trumped California's Online Privacy Protection Act. The decision upheld a 2013 ruling by a trial judge.
Delta countered that the federal Airline Deregulation Act prohibits individual states from “regulating critical business operations,” including airlines' “ability to collect and handle customer information and communicate with customers.” The airline added that the Department of Transportation is the only entity “empowered with regulating airline Web sites, privacy policies, and information practices.”
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Marla Miller accepted Delta's argument and dismissed the complaint. Harris then appealed.
Among other arguments, she said that the complaint against Delta doesn't relate to its "services."
The appeals court said it rejected that stance, writing that the app can be used for activities like checking in, viewing reservations, rebooking cancelled flights and paying for checked luggage.
Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat, has made mobile privacy one of her priorities. In 2012, she persuaded Google, Apple, Facebook and other companies to require available apps to have privacy policies.