The city attorney for Los Angeles is suing the company behind The Weather Channel and its mobile app, and says the app covertly mined user data.
The Weather Channel app is hugely popular, and the the lawsuit is a big deal. You can read the lawsuit here [PDF via NYT].
“If the price of getting a weather report is going to be the sacrifice of your most personal information about where you spend your time day and night,” said Michael Feuer, the Los Angeles city attorney, “you sure as heck ought to be told clearly in advance.”
Excerpt from The New York Times:
The Weather Channel app deceptively collected, shared and profited from the location information of millions of American consumers, the city attorney of Los Angeles said in a lawsuit filed on Thursday.
One of the most popular online weather services in the United States, the Weather Channel app has been downloaded more than 100 million times and has 45 million active users monthly.
The government said the Weather Company, the business behind the app, unfairly manipulated users into turning on location tracking by implying that the information would be used only to localize weather reports. Yet the company, which is owned by IBM, also used the data for unrelated commercial purposes, like targeted marketing and analysis for hedge funds, according to the lawsuit.
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