AccuWeather for iOS Sending Location Data to Monetization Company Even When Location Sharing is Off [Updated]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Popular and well-known iOS weather app AccuWeather has been caught collecting and sharing user location data even when location sharing permissions are turned off, according to a blog post recently shared by security researcher Will Strafach.

    According to Strafach, AccuWeather was partnering with data monetization firm Reveal Mobile to collect GPS coordinates, including speed and altitude, the name and BSSID of a user's Wi-Fi router, and whether a device has Bluetooth on and off, all of which was available to Reveal Mobile when location services were enabled.

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    With location services disabled, AccuWeather was still sending the Wi-Fi router name and BSSID, which still offered Reveal Mobile location data.
    Reval Mobile is a firm that uses location data to gather information on a user's home, work, and frequently visited locations, pairing that data with demographic targeting criteria to allow retailers to deliver targeted ads. From the company's website:
    In response to Strafach's blog post, Reveal Mobile says the data it collects is anonymized and grouped into audience segments. "We offer no product or service that permits anyone to see an individual device's location data," reads a statement on the Reveal Mobile website. The company also says it does not reverse engineer a device's location when location sharing is turned off.
    AccuWeather vice president of emerging platforms David Mitchell told ZDNet that AccuWeather will use data through Reveal Mobile for "audience segmentation and analysis, to build a greater audience understanding and create more contextually relevant and helpful experiences for users and for advertiser."

    Following Strafach's discovery, many people have been uninstalling the AccuWeather app, and given the wealth of weather apps available in the App Store, this is not surprising. AccuWeather does not apparently have plans to end its relationship with Reveal Mobile, so users may want to find another weather app.

    Update: AccuWeather and Reveal Mobile have provided a joint statement on the issue:
    Update 2: AccuWeather has updated its app to remove the Reveal Mobile SDK.

    Article Link: AccuWeather for iOS Sending Location Data to Monetization Company Even When Location Sharing is Off [Updated]
     
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

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    #2
    "The value lies in understanding the path of a consumer and where they go throughout the day."

    no means no.
     
  3. CerebralX macrumors 6502

    CerebralX

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    Disgusting business practice. It's so difficult to find genuinely honest businesses these days..
     
  4. DrewDaHilp1, Aug 22, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017

    DrewDaHilp1 macrumors 6502a

    DrewDaHilp1

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    #4
    This was my go to weather app. Any suggestions for a replacement?

    App store reviews are already getting hit hard.

    Edited to add

    Have plenty of suggestions to try out now. Thanks!
     
  5. now i see it macrumors 68040

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    #5
    But we have plans for AccuTracker. Long press/click X.
     
  6. Munky macrumors 6502

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    Wunderground.
     
  7. pilotgi macrumors regular

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    As a commercial pilot, I need detailed weather info. I would recommend people use the national weather service NOW app.
     
  8. PorscheSpyder macrumors newbie

    PorscheSpyder

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    #8
    If you're willing to pay a little, I find Carrot Weather app to be quite accurate. It's $4 and pulls its data from Dark Sky.

    On the subject of the article, it's a little surprising that they didn't really shy away from what they're doing. But I guess that if their making money from selling the info, that's what counts for them.
     
  9. gene731 macrumors member

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    #9
    WeatherChannel? I have never used anything else.
     
  10. rictus007 macrumors regular

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    Dark Sky! Predict weather exactly were you are (at what time is going to rain at your exact location, not the town... the street)
     
  11. Sharkoneau macrumors 6502a

    Sharkoneau

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    Like Munky, I fully recommend Wunderground as well. Very customizable, performs very well, and seems to have very accurate information.
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    Well, looks like Accuweather is getting deleted off my iDevices.
     
  13. Sharkoneau macrumors 6502a

    Sharkoneau

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    #13
    WeatherChannel is nice for accurate info and such. However, I've found that the app generally performs like a three-legged horse; just scrolling through that app is a jerky mess. Wish you could customize what they show you.
     
  14. Morgenland macrumors 6502a

    Morgenland

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    Wunderground. Works great on AppleWatch too.
     
  15. camnchar macrumors 6502

    camnchar

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    #15
    Repeat after me: “if you don’t pay for the product, you ARE the product”
     
  16. BC2009 macrumors 68000

    BC2009

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    #16
    Dark Sky -- they even have an Apple Watch widget and it will tell you when it is about to rain.
     
  17. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Wunderground
     
  18. testcard macrumors 68040

    testcard

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  19. TheGreenBastard macrumors 6502

    TheGreenBastard

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    #19
    I quite like the snarky personality of CARROTWeather
     
  20. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

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    #20
    I use the Weather Channel app because an Atmospheric Sciences Prof here at UW (Cliff Mass) has stated their forecasts are first-rate. But I agree with the people who aren't crazy about the app itself - it could use some UI design love.
     
  21. dannyyankou macrumors G3

    dannyyankou

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  22. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000

    thisisnotmyname

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    #22
    They'll be burned at the stake for this. Violating privacy policies already enrages people but to then sell it too is just asking for death.
     
  23. Porco macrumors 68040

    Porco

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    #23
    Starting with light showers, a breeze from the south will bring stormy weather, with the possibility of thunderstorms.
     
  24. coolfactor macrumors 601

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    #24
    Deleted here, too. Not because I care about them having my location data, but because of their lacklustre response to this report. Shameful.
     
  25. FourDegrees macrumors member

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