Delete The Weather Channel App If You're Concerned About Your Location Data

07 January, 2019, 07:32 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Los Angeles sues the Weather Channel app for misleading users

The suit doesn't allege personally identifiable information was sold. While the app's privacy policy does note that data could be used for targeted advertising and might be shared with "partners", California's lawsuit argues users have no reason to look there since the prompt doesn't even suggest their data will be used in those ways.

The lawsuit pulls IBM into the broader conversation about how tech companies use consumer data that has roiled the industry in the past two years and prompted intense questions from politicians, users and regulators.

The 15-page complaint accuses TWC of violating California's Unfair Competition Law through "fraudulent and deceptive business acts and practices", primarily by failing to disclose the uses to which it put its customers' personal information.

The lawsuit alleges that the company's Weather Channel app misled users as to how their information would be leveraged. Artificial intelligence systems like Watson demand huge data sets to train their algorithms on.

The lawsuit, available in full detail here, was announced in a press conference today and targets IBM-owned TWC Product and Technology, LLC (TWC), the company behind the Weather Channel app.

The lawsuit follows a bombshell report last month that said the Weather Channel, GasBuddy and Weather Bug collect extensive data from users without their consent.

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In a November speech at an event with top European Union officials, Rometty said "irresponsible handling" of user data by "dominant consumer-facing platform companies" has created a "trust crisis".

An IBM spokesman told the Times that the Weather Company has "always been transparent with use of location data" and that the businesses will "vigorously" defend their disclosures.

Feuer said he hopes the case inspires other lawsuits and legislation to curb data-sharing practices. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has a lot to say about companies that take people's personal data for one goal but use it for another, and fines stretch as high as 4% of global revenue.

People relied on the most popular mobile weather app to track forecasts that determined whether they chose jeans over shorts and packed a parka or umbrella, but its owners used it to track their every step and profit off that information, Los Angeles prosecutors said Friday.

Notably, data privacy is increasingly becoming a cause of concern for the lawmakers with major tech companies including Facebook and Google being subjected to intensive questioning by not only by the lawmakers in the USA and the European Union but also governments across the globe.

In the report, Feuer claimed 80 percent of supposedly "45 million" app users agreed to terms the app would track geolocation data.

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