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US Investigating iPhone Apps Like Pandora

April 5, 2011

The U.S. is investigating how customer data is being used by applications running Apple Inc. and Google Inc. smartphone software.

Pandora, an online radio service, said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it was subpoenaed by a Federal grand jury requesting information, reports Reuters. 

Pandora said it is not the target of the investigation and that similar subpoenas were issued to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications as well.

“Privacy groups and government bodies have increasingly scrutinized the ways in which companies link personal identities and data associated with particular users or devices with data collected through the Internet,” Pandora said.

“We expect such scrutiny to continue to increase.”

The information was contained in an amended filing ahead of a public offering of about $100 million expected later this year.

The online radio service has over 80 million registered users, some of whom use mobile apps to access the music service beyond their personal computers.

Privacy watchers are concerned that applications like Pandora’s can disclose critical information about a user like location, gender and age.

Over 300,000 apps are available on Apple’s App Store, while Google’s Android software boasts 100,000 applications.

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