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The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court of San Francisco on Thursday, marks the first time the state has taken legal action to enforce the privacy law, which was enacted in 2004, according to a news release from Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. Delta also violates California's Unfair Competition Law, the lawsuit alleged.
Since 2010, Delta has distributed a mobile application called "Fly Delta" that allows people to manage their bookings, according to the suit. The application collects information such as a person's name, phone number, birth date, email address, frequent flyer account number and pin code, photo and geo-location data. It is alleged in the lawsuit that Delta customers do not know how their data is collected or used by the airline.
Delta could face a penalty of US$2,500 for each time a non-compliant mobile application is downloaded, the attorney general's office said. The application has been downloaded millions of times from Google's Play and Apple's iTunes application markets, according to the lawsuit.
Delta, which has its headquarters in Atlanta, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Harris had been aggressive in pushing companies to comply with the law. Earlier this year, she created the Department of Justice's Privacy Enforcement and Protection Unit, which is charged with enforcing the Online Privacy Protection Act, federal privacy laws and those relating to personal data and data breaches.
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