The Weather Channel dupes app users by
collecting their precise geo-location data for ad targeting purposes, the city of Los Angeles alleges in a new lawsuit.
In a complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, city
attorney Michael Feuer alleges that the Weather Channel, owned by IBM, misleads app users into believing their location data will only be used to provide them with personalized weather-related
information. Instead, according to the complaint, the app sells the data for ad targeting purposes.
“When seeking consent for geolocation tracking, the app does not … give users any
reason to believe that their location data will be used for anything other than personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts,” the complaint reads. “Unbeknownst to its users,
TWC’s core business is amassing and profiting from user location data.”
While the app asks users to consent to share their geolocation data, information about how the data can be used
information because it recognizes that many users would not permit the Weather Channel App to track their geolocation if they knew the true uses of that data.”
The complaint comes
several weeks after The New York Timesreported on widespread geolocation
tracking by numerous apps.
Los Angeles officials aren’t the only governmental authorities prosecuting tech companies over alleged privacy violations. Facebook is currently facing suits by
authorities in Illinois and the District of Columbia over revelations that Cambridge Analytica harvested data from millions of users. And Google is among the tech companies facing a suit by New Mexico
Attorney General over alleged violations of federal and state children’s privacy laws.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News