Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer charges that the app has amassed users’ private and personal location data.(Chris Pizzello/AP)
The city of Los Angeles is suing the company that operates The Weather Channel app, accusing it of deceptively collecting users’ data.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer is alleging that the app’s operating company, TWC Product and Technology, collects data on users’ daily habits and gives it to advertisers and other interested third parties, according to the lawsuit.
Feuer charges that TWC, a subsidiary of IBM, has used the app “to amass its users’ private, personal geolocation data.” The lawsuit accuses the company of tracking second-to-second details of its users, including where they’ve been and for how long, while telling people that the data is only used to give them “personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts.”
The company is collecting the data even when users are not actively using the app for “other commercial purposes bearing no relation to weather or the services provided by the app,” according to the lawsuit.
Additionally, the lawsuit says the company “then profited from that data, using it and monetizing it for purposes entirely unrelated to weather or the Weather Channel App.”
An IBM spokesperson said in a statement that the company “has always been transparent with use of location data; the disclosures are fully appropriate and we will defend them vigorously.”
Feuer’s lawsuit is asking the court to penalize the company with a $2,500 fine for every alleged violation of California’s competition laws.
“If the cost of getting the forecast from the Weather Channel app is the sacrifice of your personal data – like where you are 24/7 – it should be made EXTREMELY clear,” Feuer tweeted.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News