Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

You Should Uninstall the Weather Channel App from Your Smartphone. I did.

If you are concerned about your privacy, delete the so-called free Weather Channel app from your smartphone right now.

Why? It isn’t really free. It steals your personal information.

The Weather Channel app records the 45 million monthly active users’ locations every time the app is used, then sells the information to as many as 40 third-party companies without telling any users what is happening to their private information that was unwittingly supplied. The companies that purchase the stolen information are then free to use that information for whatever purposes they want.

A lawsuit that the city of Los Angeles has brought against the makers of the Weather Channel app, specifically cites a New York Times exposé from last month. The lawsuit claims the Weather Company, the business behind the app, unfairly manipulated users into turning on location tracking by implying that the information would be used only to localize weather reports. Yet the company, which is owned by IBM, also used the data for unrelated commercial purposes, including targeted marketing and analysis for hedge funds, according to the lawsuit.

Of course, the Weather Channel does not share the revenue with the users whose personal data was stolen.

“If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

You can read more in an article by Michael Potuck on the 9to5Mac web site at:

OK, now delete the Weather Channel App.

Categories: Cell Phones, Online Privacy & Security

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