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Delta Air Lines app first to fall foul of California privacy policy law

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California's attorney general has made Delta Air Lines the first target of a law requiring privacy policies in mobile software, after a grace period ended earlier this week. All developers collecting data from residents of California are now obliged to prominently display a privacy policy in their apps or risk a $2,500 fine for each individual download. Attorney general Kamala Harris alleges that the company's Fly Delta app collects information such as the customer's name, account data, photographs, and geolocation without displaying a privacy policy "in the application itself, in the platform stores from which the application may be downloaded, or on Delta's website."

In a statement, Harris said:

"Losing your personal privacy should not be the cost of using mobile apps, but all too often it is. California law is clear that mobile apps collecting personal information need privacy policies, and that the users of those apps deserve to know what is being done with their personal information."

Delta was one of several companies given a 30-day warning about the enforcement of the 2004 Online Privacy Protection Act, but failed to update its app in time. While there appears to be no legal precedent for the case — California has elected to take a stricter interpretation of an existing law rather than seek new legislation — Harris' suit seeks to stop Delta offering the free app without a privacy policy, as well as damages for the downloads to date.