The city attorney of Los Angeles alleged in a lawsuit filed on Thursday, The Weather Channel app has made a fool of millions of users into letting it access their personal location data, and then using that data for commercial purposes and gaining profit.
The Weather Channel app is one of the most famous weather apps in the United States, and and it is even given the spot of number one in the iOS App Store in the weather category as of Friday morning.
The app has been downloaded over 100 million times across operating systems.
Government claims in the lawsuit that the Weather Company has tricked the users into enabling their location tracking, by saying that through this they are going to receive more precise weather reports.
But the company actually disclosed they are going to use it for other purposes except for weather and monetize their data. In the lawsuit, the government claims that the Weather Company used the data for targeted marketing and hedge fund analysis.
The government said in the lawsuit that:
“For years, The Weather Channel has deceptively used its Weather Channel App to amass its users’ private, personal geolocation data — tracking minute details about its users’ locations throughout the day and night, all the while leading users to believe that their data will only be used to provide them with personalized local weather data, alert, and forecasts,”
Weather Company, the IBM-owned business, has nearly 45 million active monthly users. In response to this IBM said that:
“The Weather Company has always been transparent with use of location data; the disclosures are fully appropriate, and we will defend them vigorously.”
It will be interesting to see what the court ruling will be on this matter.