California: Attorney General files Law Suit against Delta Airlines over mobile app

Michael Wukoschitz's picture

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed a complaint against Delta, alleging that Delta has failed to conspicuously post a privacy policy on its mobile application, in violation of California’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”). The California Online Privacy Protection Act requires commercial operators of websites and online services, including mobile and social apps, which collect personally identifiable information from Californians to conspicuously post a privacy policy. Privacy policies are an important safeguard for consumers. Privacy policies promote transparency in how companies collect, use, and share personal information.  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 complaint alleges that since at least 2010, Delta has operated a mobile app called “Fly Delta” for use on smartphones and other electronic devices.   The Fly Delta app may be used to check-in online for an airplane flight, view reservations for air travel, rebook cancelled or missed flights, pay for checked baggage, track checked baggage, access a user’s frequent flyer account, take photographs, and even save a user’s geo-location. Despite collecting substantial personally identifiable information such as a user’s full name, telephone number, email address, frequent flyer account number and pin code, photographs, and geo-location, the Fly Delta application does not have a privacy policy.

The suit seeks to enjoin Delta from distributing its app without a privacy policy and penalties of up to $2,500 for each violation. The suit was filed in San Francisco Superior Cour.

Source: State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General press release of Dec. 6, 2012

Copy of the law suit available attached to the press release.

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