Image credit – Will Strafach


The thing with weather apps is that it usually requires your location in order to determine what is the weather in your area. We know that sometimes you might be a little concerned about sharing your location all the time, so you might choose to enable/disable location services on your phone when you need them.

Unfortunately it seems that popular weather app AccuWeather has been recently accused of ignoring the choices made by users, and has actually been caught sharing the location data of users with a third-party data monetization firm even when users have switched off location services.

This was initially discovered by security researcher Will Strafach who intercepted traffic from an iPhone and its servers, and discovered that even when the app did not have explicit permission to access the device’s location, it instead sent WiFi router names and MAC addresses to the servers of a data monetization firm called Reveal Mobile every few hours.

Reveal Mobile’s CEO Brian Handley claims that the data is anonymized and aren’t tracking individual devices, and according to AccuWeather’s executive vice president of emerging platforms David Mitchell, “In the future, AccuWeather plans to 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 advertisers.”

Reveal Mobile has since published a statement in which they say that they follow all app store guidelines, such as honoring device and app level opt-out and permissions.

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