Pandora’s online streaming music apps for smartphones are secretly violating users’ privacy by sharing personal data with advertising agencies and networks, according to security firm Veracode. Inquiries follow a recent call for a grand jury investigation in New Jersey to determine whether or not mobile device app developers like Pandora are illegally gathering, sharing and making user information public.
According to Veracode, which took it upon itself to analyze and examine Pandora’s Android music app, the company is sending unauthorized data to five advertising services including AdMarvel, AdMob, comScore, Google.Ads and Medialets. Compromised information reportedly includes users’ age, gender, location, postal code and unique phone identifiers.
Experts worry that this information, typically gathered by manufacturers yet kept anonymous, may be used to profile users, delivered target advertising and otherwise impinge on personal privacy.
[UPDATED: To read Pandora’s formal response, which includes pulling these advertising services from its apps, click here.]