Pandora Subpoenaed In Information-Sharing Probe

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Pandora logo, online music, internet radio

OAKLAND (AP) — Online radio service Pandora has received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating whether popular smartphone applications share information about their users with advertisers and other third parties.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Pandora said it believes it is one of many companies to receive subpoenas in probe into the information-sharing practices of publishers that make apps for the iPhone and other Apple Inc.  devices, as well as smartphones that run on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Pandora said it does share information with third parties to help it track how users interact with the service and to deliver targeted advertising. But the Oakland-based company said it is “not a specific target” of the grand jury investigation.

The company noted the development in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing plans for an initial public offering.

”Basically it sounds like the grand jury is either trying to understand the privacy implications of how information is shared, or they want to see something about market domination. It’s kind of a two-horse race in the app market,” said Larry Dignan, editor in chief at ZD Net.

That race is between the iPhone and Android smart phones. According to the Wall Street Journal, both Google and Apple have also been asked to provide information about applications listed in their marketplaces.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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