Technology Other News 27 Aug 2017 AccuWeather accused ...

AccuWeather accused of sharing user data without consent

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 27, 2017, 3:27 pm IST
Updated Aug 27, 2017, 3:27 pm IST
AccuWeather hasn’t confirmed on a statement on these findings.
A new report from Strafach who conducted a new series of tests on the latest version of AccuWeather.
 A new report from Strafach who conducted a new series of tests on the latest version of AccuWeather.

This could be surprising news as AccuWeather is said to be involved in a scandal. It now looks like the firm wasn’t giving out the whole truth earlier this week when it promised to address claims of privacy violations by its iOS client.

According to a research which has shown that despite an update released some days ago, AccuWeather for iOS still shares user data without consent, even after the company specifically promised to address this problem.

 

This week earlier, security researcher Will Strafach had found that AccuWeather for iOS was sharing user data with a data monetization firm called Reveal Mobile even when location sharing was disabled. AccuWeather published an update on Thursday and issued a public apology, emphasizing the company considers user privacy a priority and promising not to collect data without consent ever again.

And yet, despite the update, it turns out that AccuWeather is still sharing some user data with an advertiser, again without users giving their consent.

 

A new report from Strafach who conducted a new series of tests on the latest version of AccuWeather, and ZDNet has confirmed that some data, including precise GPS coordinates and even altitude is being submitted to Nexage, a company owned by Oath, but only when location sharing is enabled.

While as compared to the previous version when the data sharing took place when location services were turned off, this time it all happens when users do agree to share location, though they’re not giving their explicit consent to have their data shared with advertisers.

 

AccuWeather hasn’t confirmed on a statement on these findings, but an Oath spokesperson has admitted that the company receives data from the weather firm through the SDK integrated into the iOS client.

"AccuWeather sends us geo-location data through our SDK only when location sharing is enabled by the consumer. We use this data to enable our buyers on our ad exchange to effectively value the impression. Location is commonly used by buyers in order to serve more relevant content and advertising to enhance the overall consumer experience. We're committed to fostering an accountable ecosystem and complying with all applicable privacy laws and regulations,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

 

It remains to be seen how AccuWeather responds to these new accusations, but this time, a forced apology might not be enough to win customers back after already  selling them out twice.

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