Mobile Commerce

Delta Gets Mobile App Suit Dismissed

Delta Ducks Mobile Suit

Not every company that has a bustling mobile ecosystem now started that way, and those just getting off the ground have only now just left their rocky starts in the rearview mirror. Delta Airlines is one of those, and recent news clears it of a blemish on its mobile record.

Courthouse News Service reported that a court in California has thrown out a lawsuit filed in 2012 against Delta Air Lines that alleged the carrier developed and published a mobile app that surreptitiously collected identifiable information on users with no available privacy policy for users to opt into. The plaintiff's suit argued that the app was in in direct violation of the 2004 California Online Privacy Protection Act (OPPA), which required such a policy within state lines.

Judge Martin Jenkins, who threw out the suit, asking for $2,500 in damages per violation, explained his reasoning for dismissing the filing before it reached a full-fledged courtroom stage.

"If each state were to require Delta to comply with its own version of the OPPA, it would force Delta to design different mobile applications to meet the requirements of each state," Jenkins remarked. "And, indeed, enforcement of the OPPA's privacy policy requirements might well make it impossible for an airline to use a mobile application as a marketing mechanism at all."

Key to Delta's pre-trial argument was protection under the Airline Deregulaition Act of 1978, which broadly stripped states' individual powers to pass public policy over airline carriers operating across state lines. With this ruling, that 38-year ruling now clearly extends across digital borders, too.



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