Accuweather App sending user location data

Discussion in 'Weather In The News' started by Ben Holcomb, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Ben Holcomb

    Ben Holcomb Digital Janitor
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    So this seems like a major invasion of privacy from accuweather. I'm not a fan of just sharing my location with apps to be shared with anyone and I imagine others aren't either.

    Users dump AccuWeather iPhone app after learning it sends location data to a third party

    AccuWeather’s iOS app may be up to something fishy. Security researcher Will Strafach published a warning about the popular weather app’s behavior on Medium and users appear to be paying attention.

    According to Strafach’s Medium post, the AccuWeather app requests location permission from users not to provide customized location-based weather data but to send some quite specific geodata to a third-party company called RevealMobile.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/22/accuweather-revealmobile-ios/
     
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  2. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    Didn't Uber also take some heat earlier this year (or last year) for getting caught doing that? I wouldn't be surprised if there were other apps doing the same thing. Even though I use an Android device, I still never have downloaded AccuWeather's app. I did have Uber for awhile, though, but have since stopped driving for them and also uninstalled the app (even though I heard that won't stop them from collecting information from your device - which if true I don't know how to remedy without doing a factory reset of the entire device).
     
  3. Dan Robinson

    Dan Robinson WxLibrary Editor
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    Although this is definitely bad and a disturbing revelation, it must be pointed out Google and Facebook are doing this on a much grander scale. And with essentially a voluntary free pass granted by all users of both of those services.
     
  4. Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Owner
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  5. Marc R. O'Leary

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    Deleted. Accuweather app is terrible anyway...same an anything TWC.

    Forgot I even had it on my phone.
     
  6. Randy Jennings

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    In related news, AccuWeather released this statement:

    The most precious gift you have when hordes of shoppers are bearing down on you is time. Time to plan. Time to gather up your family and friends and get to the shopping mall before the other shoppers arrive. When the sale – which was a surprise to some – started in Moore, Oklahoma on August 21st, 2017, it was not a surprise to the user’s of AccuWeather’s iPhone app. Our users had more than 15 minutes of advance notice that the sale was going to happen thanks to our industry leading partnership with Reveal Mobile. No NWS sale warnings where in effect at the time. This isn’t the first time AccuWeather has provided its clients with a superior service in the backyard of the NOAA Sale Prediction Center.
     
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  7. Jake Orosi

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    The thing with Uber was a little more insidious, if that's possible. What their app actually did was leave a bit of code on your phone which wasn't erased if you deleted the app, that more or less gave your phone a fixed ID pegged to your user account - kind of like a cookie. Uber did this as part of an effort to evade law enforcement in places where Uber's business was illegal; if an already-had-an-account user's phone showed up as creating a new account in a city where Uber was having problems with the law, it was assumed the phone belonged to a cop trying to catch drivers, and the app was programmed to give fake locations and driver names and never provide a real ride to that phone again.

    Oh - and they also geofenced Apple HQ (yes, the actual Apple headquarters) so that if the app detected the phone was on Apple's campus, it would return fake source code omitting the phone-tagging features so that any Apple engineers scrutinizing the app would never discover the bad parts.
     
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  8. Jeff House

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    Non-commercial add-free mobile.weather.gov still works. In this App driven world, the phone still comes with a browser, lol.
     
  9. Jeff Wright

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    I still remember their little "Weather Duties Act" stunt from Santorum and company.
     
  10. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    Barry Myers is close to being finalized as NOAA Admin so the new NWS app might do the same :)
     
  11. Lou Ruh

    Lou Ruh EF1

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  12. rdale

    rdale EF5

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    They probably have reason not to - but a lot of their fears are likely overblown. He can't just sign a paper and eliminate forecasting as they worry about. But things they shouldn't be doing - like providing on duty mets to multi-million dollar events like NASCAR and SEC Football will probably get axed. That's clearly a private sector role.
     

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