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California AG sues Delta over mobile app privacy

Airline was one of 100 app makers and companies warned recently that they were running afoul of a 2004 state law that requires them to post their policies for collection of personal information.

California's attorney general filed a lawsuit today against Delta Air Lines for failing to prominently display a privacy policy in its mobile app.

The lawsuit is the first brought under the state's 2004 Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires Web sites and apps that collect personal information from California residents to prominently post a privacy policy, as well as give users the opportunity to read the privacy policy before downloading the app.

The Atlanta-based airline was among 100 app developers and companies warned recently by Kamala Harris' office that they were in violation of California's privacy laws and had 30 days to comply with the new law.

"Losing your personal privacy should not be the cost of using mobile apps, but all too often it is," Harris said in a statement this evening. "California law is clear that mobile apps collecting personal information need privacy policies, and that the users of those apps deserve to know what is being done with their personal information."

Harris is seeking immediate alteration of the app to comply with state laws and damages of up to $2,500 for each violation.

CNET has contacted Delta for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The move is the latest in a campaign Harris has been waging to force companies operating in California to be more transparent about their privacy policies. In February, Harris announced that Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion had agreed to improve mobile privacy protections, starting with requiring privacy policies in apps. Facebook joined the roster in June.