Photo: AOL

AccuWeather refuses to stop selling your location data to advertisers

Bradley Wint
By - Founder/Executive Editor
Aug 27, 2017 12:07am AST
Photo: AOL
Get the latest news stories of the day delivered to your inbox

AccuWeather came under some hot water a few days ago after it was discovered that its iOS weather app was transmitting geolocation data to a third-party advertiser even when users explicitly denied the app location access.

The privacy breach was first discovered by popular iOS jailbreaker and security researcher, Will Strafach. While researching an entirely different issue with the app, he discovered that the program was sending precise geolocation information, WiFi BSSIDs, and bluetooth status to revealmobile.com.

The domain points to a marketing company aimed at maximizing advertising profits by collecting as much geolocation data to delivery highly targeted ads.

To confirm Strafach’s claim, ZDNET independently tested the claim and verified that the AccuWeather app was indeed sending geo data to the third-party company even when the app’s location privileges were revoked.

The biggest concern here is that AccuWeather at no point states that a user’s location data would be used in the delivery of more personalized ads.

It just won’t stop

After AccuWeather gave a half-hearted/non-apologetic explanation, they released an updated version, promising to fix the issue.

It turns out that they just switched their data collection platform, even though they only collect data when location services are enabled for the app. Once again, ZDNET confirmed the claim via an independent test, revealing that data was now being sent to a new third-party domain, nexage.com, which is part of the Oath advertising network.

Again, no mention is made by the folks at AccuWeather that location data would be used for advertising targeting purposes, but rather play it off as delivering precise weather location information, which still goes against Apple’s App Store policies.

While Reveal Mobile tried to play off the issue as information being misconstrued, Oath publicly acknowledged that data was being sent to them via their SDK for targeting purposes from users who enabled location data for the app.

AccuWeather sends us geo-location data through our SDK only when location sharing is enabled by the consumer. We use this data to enable our buyers on our ad exchange to effectively value the impression. Location is commonly used by buyers in order to serve more relevant content and advertising to enhance the overall consumer experience. We’re committed to fostering an accountable ecosystem and complying with all applicable privacy laws and regulations.

At least they aren’t lying about it.

AccuWeather has yet to comment about the updated situation.

Via
Have your say

Stay in check with our daily burst of news stories delivered to your inbox.

Read more

FBI director advises against using Huawei and ZTE phones

Featured - FBI director Christopher Wray announced earlier this week that he is “deeply concerned” about the threat that two Chinese mobile…

By - Feb 19, 2018 12:03am AST

Why did Florida school shooting Google Search results pre-date incident?

Web - On February 14, 2018, 14 students and 3 staff members were killed by Nikolas Cruz at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High…

By - Feb 18, 2018 2:24am AST

WestJet to announce new 787 livery on February 28th

Travel - Something’s brewing up at WestJet. Employees at the Canadian carrier were teased about a new livery announcement set for February…

By - Feb 15, 2018 11:10pm AST

E-cigarette explodes in man’s pocket, causing second degree burns

Lifestyle - A Texas man has been left with second degree burns after his e-cigarette battery exploded in his pants pocket. The…

By - Feb 13, 2018 11:34pm AST

Instagram may soon notify you if someone snaps your Story

Social Media - If you’re a creeper, then you may be in for some bad news as Instagram is quietly testing a new…

By - Feb 12, 2018 9:10pm AST

Google to introduce iPhone X ‘notch’ support in future Android updates

Mobile - As part of Google’s continued effort to streamline the Android platform, they are once again targeting higher end iPhone customers…

By - Feb 12, 2018 8:27pm AST

Logan Paul’s YouTube ads suspended after he tased a dead rat and gave dead fish CPR

Social Media - Internet man child Logan Paul just can’t stop being an idiot. After taking some time off and posting an apology…

By - Feb 11, 2018 2:17am AST

The Samsung Galaxy S9 could start at $800+

Mobile - With every new flagship release, phone prices just seem to continually creep up and up over time. For instance, Apple’s…

By - Feb 8, 2018 4:42am AST

SpaceX nails tandem landing after successful Falcon Heavy test launch

Featured - What a time to be alive! Elon Musk and the team at SpaceX has set another major milestone by successfully…

By - Feb 7, 2018 1:38am AST

Video depicts drone flying dangerously close to aircraft

Transportation - Video of a drone flying dangerously close to an aircraft in Las Vegas has gone viral. The original clip was…

By - Feb 5, 2018 12:26am AST