AccuWeather app caught "red-handed" tracking location of users against their wishes


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/24/accuweather-app-caught-red-h.html


#2

This was not an “infraction”.

It was a crime. A deliberate, premeditated crime.


#3

TrakuWeather


#4

If the app is free, you are the product.


#5

I just google “Current weather”


#6

And, of course, it’s one of the crapware apps that some carriers won’t let you remove.


#7

Next time they will be sure to use encryption when phoning the mothership so that those pesky researchers can’t inspect the data they are transmitting.

Nowadays it doesn’t matter if it is free or not, you are always the product.


#8

I want to see how “location tracking” was defined in their TOS. If it was narrowly defined as specifically GPS coordinates, then they can rules-lawyer their way out of this one.


#9

Also, wow, Carrot looks insufferable.


#10

I actually don’t get the whole app thing. I have three aps on my phone that I use regularly (they happen to be all audio – a music player, a podcast player, and an audio book player). With those and a web browser, I’m able to do just about anything I want with my phone.

Sure, it may not be as convenient as having a weather app, but I find that if I open up my browser and speak a magical incantation: weather in Ambiguity’s homeland, in a few seconds I have the weather in my homeland.

To feel I have a little control over who tracks me (I never leave my browser logged in to any account, for example), it’s worth the five extra, horribly onerous, seconds.


#11

Now to go after all of the newscasts that have Accuweather-branded weather reports.


#12

Any news if the Android version does this?


#13

Get back results “Weather for Alaska Current at your latitude”


#14

Since I shut off the AccuWeather widget on my home screen, I’ve noticed far fewer GPS requests. I have a GPS status app that will put up an icon whenever something requests location access.

I haven’t tried to snoop on what it’s sending, but if they’re willing to request more than just position on iOS, I’d have to assume they’re doing likewise on Android.


#15

Yeah this was passing along your wifi location info rather than the GPS info though. I could turn off ‘location’ but not sure that would stop what this is doing.


#16

Maybe I’m in a bad mood, but I’d like to see a few heads roll for this one. I’m generally opposed to the death penalty, but I’d be willing to make an exception just this once…


#17

apps / mistakes

Minor redundancy in your tags Rob.


#18

I agree - I find Carrot really hard to read and understand quickly. IMHO nothing comes close to Dark Sky for presenting the right amount of data simply and clearly.


#19

Even if it’s not, you’re still the product.


#20

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