Lawsuit Accuses Weather Channel App by misleading users and profiting from their location data

Los Angeles City lawyer Mike Feuer, on the podium, speaks at a press conference in Los Angeles on Friday, January 4, 201[ads1]9.
Photo: Brian Melley (AP)

More than a few weather programs recently become a fire for their handling of user data, either by collecting too much or allegedly tracking users without their permission. Now the manufacturer of yet another popular weather app is accused by the city's lawyer in Los Angeles of deceiving millions of users and profiting from their location data.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday, according to the New York Times, which has reported on the app's alleged misdeeds. As part of a major survey last month in practice by companies tracking user placement data, the Times reported that the Weather Channel app of Weather Company, acquired by IBM in 2015, did not explicitly disclose that the Company had also analyzed the data for the hedge funds. "While the app informed how some user data would be used in the privacy and privacy settings, there was no warning about users in a message used to access their location data. [19659005]" For many years, TWC has used its Weather Channel App to gather their users personal, personal geographic data-tracking minute details about the user's locations during the day and night, while users believe their data will only be used to provide them with "custom local weather data, alerts and forecasts," the lawsuit says. . "TWC has profit from this data, uses it and made money from it for purposes that are not related to weather or the Weather Channel App."

A mobile phone with the Weather Channel app's placement preference page is seen Friday, January 4, 2019
Photo: Brian Melley (AP)

The case claims that the app does not adequately show users that their data will be shared with third parties or for purpose other than providing updated weather and forecasts. The suit further claims that the app's "failure to notify users that their personal information will be transferred to others for profit is not just oversight", and that the company's "core business" collects user placement data for profits. The weather company refuses any forgery.

"Weather Company has always been transparent when using location data; the information is fully appropriate and we want to defend them vigorously," an IBM spokesman for Gizmodo said in an e-mail statement.

Los Angeles City lawyer Mike Feuer tweeted Friday that with the matter, officials will prevent others from engaging in similar alleged behaviors. During a press conference Feuer said that "the issue of privacy in the digital age is one of those most fundamental issues "currently facing Americans.

The weather channel is among a growing list of weather applications that have been accused of engaging in shady data practices. Last year, security researcher Will Strafach claimed that AccuWeather shared user location data with its partner Reveal Mobile, even though users did not choose to share their location information, and earlier this week, Wall Street Journal reported popular app weather things – World Weather Accurate Radar, available for Android, collects an "unusual number" of user data, including location, email addresses and IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers.

It is a good reminder that users should exercise a healthy amount of skepticism about which apps they share their information with, especially as Feuer noted, those who seemingly "benign" and "innocent" as an app for the weather. 19659005] [New York Times via Engadget]

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