AccuWeather deflects blame after selling users’ data, even if they opt out

“AccuWeather doesn’t know how to issue a reassuring statement,” Ashley Carman reports for The Verge. “The company attempted to quell users’ concerns a day after security analyst Will Strafach published a blog post earlier this week explaining how the free iOS weather app collects users’ GPS coordinates, the name and BSSID (or MAC address) of their Wi-Fi router, and whether their device has Bluetooth turned on or off. AccuWeather sends this data to a company called Reveal Mobile, which sells the information to retailers with the promise of helping “understand the path of a consumer and where they go throughout the day.””

“To put it more plainly: AccuWeather basically handed over its users exact locations — even when they opted out of providing location data — in the form of their router name and BSSID,” Carman reports. “These two data points can be traced to an exact location.”

“if you’re concerned about your privacy, you should probably ditch the AccuWeather app,” Carman reports. “Maybe stick with Apple’s default weather app, or pay for one, like Dark Sky, which makes its money off app purchases.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve said repeatedly before, during, and after this AccuWeather fiasco:

If you want a reliable go-to weather app, you only need one: Dark Sky.

In a nutshell: If you’re still using the AccuWeather app, delete it and go to the App Store get Dark Sky for $3.99 because it’s easily worth at least 10X as much.

SEE ALSO:
AccuWeather and Reveal Mobile issue joint statement about iOS app location tracking – August 23, 2017
AccuWeather app caught sending iOS user location data, even when location sharing is off – August 22, 2017

13 Comments

    1. Apple should kick it out of the App Store. Blatant violation of the user’s choice. It’s spyware, or negligently (unlikely), or deliberately for financial gain. Then they issue a statement meant to misdirect and confuse people. Unrepentant.

  1. As Edward Snowden has revealed, location spying tells more about a person because it reveals a person’s behavior than actually listening in to any convo.

  2. Morally bankrupt company steals private information from users. Apple should ditch this app from their store, and any self-respecting consumer should erase it from all of their devices. I hope they get sued and are criminally punished.

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