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Los Angeles Unfair Competition Lawyer | Will Lawsuit from California AG Lead to Crash Landing for ‘Fly Delta’ App?

  • By: Robert Klein

On December 6, 2012, California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a press release announcing that she had filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines, Inc. for failing to include a privacy policy within the company’s “Fly Delta” mobile application. The release said it was the first legal action under California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires commercial operators of websites and online services that collect personally identifiable information from Californians to “conspicuously post a privacy policy.” Developers who fail to comply with their stated privacy policies can be prosecuted under the state’s Unfair Competition Law and/or False Advertising Law.

As Bridget Carey notes in this CNET video, the “Fly Delta” app has been downloaded more than one million times, meaning that the potential penalty of $2,500 for each time a non-compliant mobile application was downloaded could translate to over $2.5 billion in damages. In February, Harris announced an agreement with Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research In Motion to improve privacy protections. Four months later, Harris announced that Facebook became the seventh company to sign the Joint Statement of Principles apps agreement.

According to the release, Atlanta-based Delta was among the companies given 30 days to post a privacy policy within their mobile app that informs users of what personally identifiable information is being collected and what will be done with it. “The Fly Delta app may be used to check-in online for an airplane flight, view reservations for air travel, rebook cancelled or missed flights, pay for checked baggage, track checked baggage, access a user’s frequent flyer account, take photographs, and even save a user’s geo-location,” the release stated. “Despite collecting substantial personally identifiable information such as a user’s full name, telephone number, email address, frequent flyer account number and pin code, photographs, and geo-location, the Fly Delta application does not have a privacy policy.”

Businesses also have the right to sue for damages when a competitor engages in practices such as false advertising, predatory pricing or misrepresentation, and you can find more information about unfair competition on our website. If you need experienced legal counsel to assess your company’s losses and file a lawsuit for recompense after an act of unfair competition, use the form on this page or contact our firm at (323) 405-1002 to let our Los Angeles unfair competition attorney review your case.

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Robert Klein

About the Author Attorney Robert Klein is a former CPA and known for
finding creative solutions to complex business lawsuits.