Apple Target of Federal Probe Due to Possible Personal Info Leaks
It looks like a federal grand jury is taking a closer look at specific third-party applications in both Apple's iTunes store and Google's Android Market to see if some applications are retrieving personal user info from their apps. This is a big no-no in the world of computer-fraud, and could lead to prosecution of any company that may be found to be doing these illegal practices through their applications.
According to the Wall Street Journal
and Market Watch, who first broke the story, a federal jury has concern for apps in these "digital stores" that could potentially be giving away personal information from your smartphone, behind the scenes. The user would have little-to-no knowledge that the information is even being sent out.
Market Watch also mentions
that popular music-streaming service Pandora is one of the companies who's app is being targeted. Pandora has stated that they were subpoenaed in "early 2011." If you don't remember, this issue popped up right around that time, when both the Weather Channel and Pandora had class-action lawsuits
filed against them, that claim that these companies, with Apple's help, created software to obtain individual user info from within their apps.
We'll keep a close eye on this to see if the federal jury uncovers any foul play here. For all we know, this personal information may simply be used for advertising, but its important that our smartphone apps, that have access to a lot of saved personal info, only be able to access information they absolutely need in order to successfully provide content for users.