The Wall Street Journal reports on an investigation by federal prosecutors into whether certain smartphone applications obtained or shared information about their users without proper disclosures. Among those being questioned, music service Pandora has acknowledged in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it has been subpoenaed in the investigation, which is examining whether smartphone application makers "fully described to users the types of data they collected and why they needed the information--such as a user's location or a unique identifier for the phone," the report states. The investigation could result in criminal charges and is significant to note, according to legal experts, because "federal criminal probes of companies for online privacy violations are rare." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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