California AG Wants to Ground Delta’s App for Privacy Violations

Legal action is first under state's strict privacy law

The California Attorney General filed suit against Delta Airlines for violating the state's online privacy law.

According to the complaint filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, Delta's app, called Fly Delta, failed to conspicuously post a privacy statement that lets users know what personally identifiable information Delta collects and what the company does with it.

If the court grants the AG's request, Delta could be forced to stop distributing its app and pay up to $2,500 for each violation of the California privacy law, the only state with a strict privacy law.

With Fly Delta, users can check in to flights, pay bagge fees, access frequent flyer accounts and even take pictures. It also collects personal information such as the user's name, telephone number, email address and geolocation.

"Losing your personal privacy should not be the cost of using mobile apps, but all too often it is," California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

The lawsuit against Delta is the first legal action filed under the state's Online Privacy Protection Act. It follows an agreement AG Harris struck earlier this year with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion to improve privacy protections on mobile and social app platforms.

When asked for comment, a Delta spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation. 

Mobile app privacy is coming under increasing scrutiny in Washington. Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up the Location Privacy Protection Act. Sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the bill requires companies to obtain consent from users before collecting, recording, obtaining or sharing geolocation information from mobile devices.


Publish date: December 7, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT