California Shot Down in First Effort to Require Privacy Policies for Apps

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mobile apps, mobile privacy, digital privacy, kamala harris, californiaThe State of California’s case against Delta Airlines for failing to provide a privacy policy that covers its mobile app, Fly Delta, has been effectively dismissed.

Delta filed a demurrer, the equivalent of a ‘so what?’, and yesterday a judge upheld it.

The suit was the first filed by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose determination that the state constitution’s privacy protections required mobile apps to notify users of how they handle their personal data made the state the first to regulate mobile privacy.

While the result may be a PR defeat for the attorney general’s office, it won’t likely influence the state’s ability to enforce its mobile privacy requirements. That’s because the judge in the case, state judge Marla J. Miller, based her ruling on federal laws which restrict the states from regulating the airline industry.

The attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Because the ruling is specific to the airline industry, we don’t know what will happen in any lawsuit outside the airline industry. So, unfortunately, we don’t know much more about the law than we did before the ruling,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.

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