A powerful reminder to the business community that it must take mobile application (“App”) privacy seriously was provided by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in the form a complaint filed against Delta Airlines, Inc. (“Delta”) last Thursday.
The Attorney General’s announcement additionally notes that “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.”
California is ramping up efforts to enforce privacy laws, in particular with the creation of a Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit earlier this year that will enforce laws related to cyber privacy, health privacy, financial privacy, identity theft, government records and data breaches. A proactive approach to privacy practices by businesses with a national presence is likely to mitigate litigation risk in California (and otherwise).
To that end, agreements entered into earlier this year with the California Attorney General, first by Amazon.com, Apple, Google and three other tech giants, and then by Facebook, appear to have served the companies well in steering clear of trouble in California, a state acting as a leader in protection of consumer privacy.