Pandora, the popular streaming music service, has been issued a subpoena by a federal grand jury concerning the sharing of personal data with its smartphone application.
Pandora Media Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in seeking an initial public offering, which revealed a subpoena received for potentially violating Internet privacy laws. However, the market leader in streaming Internet radio believes they’re not the only company under investigation.
“While we were informed that we are not a specific target of the investigation, and we believe that similar subpoenas were issued on an industry-wide basis to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications,” the filing states.
With over 80 million users as of January 2011, and like many mobile developers, the Oakland-based company collects a user’s age, gender, ZIP code and more in order to keep tabs on usage habits and target more relevant advertising. Last year, Pandora claims to have recorded a whopping 3.9 billion hours in total user listening. For perspective, that’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (5 minutes, 55 seconds) played 39,000,000,000 times in a row.
Recently, lawmakers have expressed more concern than usual concerning online privacy issues, especially as application usage on smartphones becomes more commonplace. But Pandora asserts: “Existing privacy-related laws and regulations are evolving and subject to potentially differing interpretations.”
If Pandora is indeed found to have violated current privacy laws, there’s still the mystery as to why my page keeps targeting me for Taylor Swift LIVE tickets. Real fishy, right?
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