Grand jury investigation targets smartphone privacy

Pandora said it and likely others received a subpoena for information related to a grand jury investigation

Pandora and possibly other makers of popular smartphone applications are being questioned by a federal grand jury about their privacy practices.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, Pandora said that early this year it was served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury "which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms," it said.

The company also wrote that it believes similar subpoenas were issued to publishers of numerous other smartphone applications. Pandora was informed that it is not a specific target of the investigation, it said.

Pandora has been the subject of class action lawsuits charging it with violating computer privacy laws.

The company declined to comment beyond the SEC document.

The way that mobile phone operators and application developers handle personal information of users has come under increasing scrutiny recently, as smartphones offer more and more capabilities and become more widely used. Operators and application developers typically only vaguely describe the ways that they share user information.

The problem is an international one. A German politician recently won a legal battle that forced his operator to divulge the information it had collected about him. Details included 35,000 instances when Deutsche Telekom had recorded his location in a six month time span.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacysmartphoneslegalPhonesconsumer electronicsPandora

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?