back to article Data gobbling app lands Delta Air Lines in the dock on privacy charge

California's Attorney General has taken an airline to court for not having a mobile app privacy policy, in the first case of its kind. Delta Air Lines' Fly Delta app collected user information including addresses, credit card details and their location, but had no policy on safeguarding this private information. That puts it …


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  1. nuked

    It also lets you "connect with Delta partners".

    Hope it was worth it for a $2,500 fine per download lol

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Those "Delta partners" are the NSA

      I hope they have good privacy policy concerning Passenger Name Records down at Crypto City.

  2. JaitcH

    Good for California!

    Too often Big (US) Business gets away with murder. The only thing they understand is money.

    Besides, California needs the fine money - it's broke.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Good for California!

      Daily reminder that the only one who "gets away with murder" is the government and its cronies. Then you pay for the privilege.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good for California!

      Dear Heretic,

      Like Evolution, being "broke" is merely a Theory.


      US Big Business

      P.S. Gleichschaltung, now that's a fact.

  3. James 51

    @JaitcH I hope it isn't the only reason why they went after them but I hope it means that others clean up their act.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    So the solution is

    To do exactly the same thing - but have a "click to say you read the Eula" button on the install?

  5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    wait a minute ...

    If you buy a ticket from Delta online (is there any other way?) then you already hand over all this information to get the ticket ... sure, you have to click the "I agree" box somewhere but nobody ever reads that ... (see recent El Reg story) - so realistically, what's the big deal with the mobile app? If you log into it with your Delta account then you have presumably already entered all this information and "agreed" ...

    So now are we going to get a 53 page "terms and conditions" on mobile devices? With the size of the mobile screen and mandatory font sizes, it's probably going to mean checking that we've read the 420 page T&C...

    Frankly, the Delta mobile app is a hell of a lot easier to use then their web site.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wait a minute ...

      I'm 50/50 on this one. Obviously if you're typing that info into an app to book a flight... they're going to have that info and clearly need it to book the flight. By that logic, the privacy policy online applies to the app.

      However they do mention taking stuff like GPS location - which technically isn't needed. If they're using it for directions to an airport, for e.g. on Android, an app can pass off navigation to Google Maps with a destination and never needs to know the current location itself.

      They'll probably just put a link to the website privacy policy, although I'd be tempted to put it on device, display it all in one for all users except this guy, where it'd be paginated, would force the scrolling of each page with a confirm checkbox and a changing question based on the privacy policy to ensure it's been read at the end, then display it for every flight he books.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: wait a minute ...

        True - there's an upside and a downside to sharing information - but the obvious "need" for the data is to show you the flight options from the correct airport. And anyway, as soon as you turn your phone on the phone company knows where you are ... so I think that location is somewhat overblown.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: wait a minute ...

        I've never used the Delta app, but I guess they could use location information to show you the airports nearest to where you are. Those are the ones you are most likely to want to depart from, so they can be shown at the top of the list when booking.

  6. Paul Leigh


    Mental that each state can impose different laws. Imagine if UK companies had to cater for the whims of Essex county council and not Devon. Fecking Lawyers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: States!

      The clue may be in the "united" States.

      Notwithstanding that California is much, much larger than Devon in oh so many ways.

      Whether California or the UK reaches the bottom first is another issue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: States!

        The interesting part is, in some states, cities and counties can also create more restrictive laws than the state. Keep in mind that in the United States, each state is mostly independent on their laws. There are only a handful of laws that are federal, compared to the states, and each state in the USA is roughly the size of an entire country in Europe.

        1. Turtle

          Re: States!

          "There are only a handful of laws that are federal..."

          Oh, it's more than a "handful". Much, much more...

    2. Alexander Hanff 1

      Re: States!

      Never heard of Bylaws then?

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: States!

      Imagine if European companies had to cater for the whims of France, but not Portugal. Of course complying with the EU privacy directive should be good enough for both countries, and in that way, the EU is probably more centralised than the USA, but most people wouldn't have a problem with the idea that different countries in the EU = different laws.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Script kiddies have had free rein inside friendfinderinc's systems for years and the CA AG does nothing.

    1. wayne 8
      Big Brother

      Re: meantime

      Delta has deeper pockets

  8. Marty McFly Silver badge

    App deleted! Delta deleted!

    Delete. App gone from iPhone. Delete. App gone from iPad. Delete. App gone from iTunes.

    From the Delta airlines on-board marketing drivel... "Thank you for flying Delta. We recognize you have a choice of airlines...." Yup, I do. And I'll fly with someone else next time.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: App deleted! Delta deleted!

      Is that your name on this no-fly list? Please step this way, Mr McFly.

  9. h3

    Singapore Airlines is the best.

    If you have a choice always go with them.

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