Pandora Subpoenaed In Federal Investigation Into Smartphone Apps

Before you read the story below, if you receive a subpoena to appear in court to testify, usually from an attorney, DO NOT ignore it. Ignoring it could mean you are found in contempt of court which means the court can and will issue a bench warrant for your arrest subsequently leading to your arrest and jail time. Needless to say, you don’t need that drama. You have better things to do with your time.

So, if you receive a subpoena, call the law firm indicated on the subpoena or the party issuing the subpoena and get more information on the testimony they will be looking to elicit from you. If you are a very busy professional, find out if they will be willing to place you “on call.” This means when the parties are finally ready for your testimony, they can call you and you can appear immediately. This saves you time rather than you spending your day waiting around the court house, unless of course you’d like to.

There are two types of subpoenas to be aware of:

1. Subpeona requiring you to appear to testify in court; and
2. Subpeona requiring you to produce documents.

Both must be complied with.
“Pandora has been served a subpoena related to a federal investigation into personal information shared by smartphone apps “that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms,” according to an update to the SEC filing that announced the company’s plans for an IPO.

Pandora said the government has informed the company it is “not a specific target in the investigation.” The company believes other subpoenas “were issued on an industry-wide basis to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications.”

The investigation is most likely the result of a December 2010 Wall Street Journal article that showed what user data is shared by a wide range of popular smartphone apps. Other apps investigated for the article include Facebook, Foursquare, the New York Times, Shazam and Groupon.

Of the 101 apps the Journal investigated, 56 were found to transmit the user’s phone ID without the user’s consent while 47 were found to transmit the phone’s location and five sent age, gender and other personal details. The Journal found that Pandora’s apps for iPhone and Android shared age, gender, location and phone ID information with third parties. . .” Full story on