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Mobile App Investigation Prompts Questions

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

April 8, 2011

A decision by federal prosecutors to investigate whether the transmittal of user data via mobile applications violates the law is raising questions for consumers, CNET reports. The basis of the investigation, the report suggests, is to determine "whether app developers have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act...created to prosecute computer hackers who go after information stored on a computer." The report also highlights the ability of some apps to send location data and unique device IDs without users realizing it. "The majority of app makers put third-party tracking tools as part of the underlying code of their application, meaning there's no on-off switch," the report states.
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