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Pandora subpoenaed in federal investigation into smartphone applications

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A federal grand jury is opening a Pandora’s Box of questions regarding the privacy of smartphone users’ data.

The popular music streaming company said Monday it has been subpoenaed after claims that smartphone applications are illegally sharing user information with advertisers and other third-parties.

Pandora said they were not the specific target and other subpoenas are thought to have been issued, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Some smartphone apps have been known to transfer user data including location, age and gender to advertisers without explicit consent.

The Journal reported in December that Pandora and others had been releasing information about users and the phones they use.

According to the AP, the Commerce Department has proposed the creation of an Internet “privacy bill of rights.” The bill would set specific rules for companies like Pandora that gather and often distribute user information.

The Federal Trade Commission has gone as far as calling for a “Do Not Track” option that would let users cut off advertisers and other companies from their data.

But in SEC filings, Pandora rebuffed that option and said it “could significantly hinder our ability to collect and use data relating to listeners.”
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Tags: legal / lawsuit, music / musician
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