Uh-oh, looks like federal grand jury is probing both Apple and Google over certain popular smartphone applications. According to The Wall Street Journal, both companies were asked to provide basic data about certain third-party apps found on both the App Store and Android Market:

Apple Inc. and Google Inc., which oversee digital “stores” that offer mobile applications to users of iPhones, iPads and mobile-devices powered by Google’s Android software, have been asked to provide information about the applications and app makers, the person familiar with the matter said.

Federal prosecutors are reportedly sniffing because they heard certain apps don’t play by the rules and illegally obtain personal information without users’ consent, which is a a federal computer-fraud law. Market Watch first broke the news earlier today that online music service Pandora has been served a subpoena to produce documents, but the prosecutors informed them they were not a target of the investigation:

In early 2011, we were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms. We believe that similar subpoenas were issued on an industry-wide basis to the publishers of numerous other smartphone applications.


About the Author