It’s 2019 and you no longer have to settle for humdrum weather alerts from your phone’s lame native app. Whatever your schtick — forecasts dripping with sarcasm, profanity (rounded out with good advice), cute puppies, or just a really cool interface — some developer has found a cheap way to bring it to your phone.
Sounds like harmless fun, right? Sure, if the unauthorized mining and sale of your precise geolocation at any given moment
It’s totally legal and, u
And where are they getting this detailed look at our sordid lives? Third-party weather apps, with their seemingly innocuous need to track your location at all times, are the most common (though certainly not the only) offender. Why else would IBM purchase The Weather Channel app?
And while it would seem the solution is better awareness on our part, several third-party weather apps have been caught in the act of collecting and selling user data, even when those users have specifically revoked permissions. The issue has become so pervasive that the city of Los Angeles recently filed suit against that IBM-owned Weather Channel app for misleading users and misusing their geolocation data in the pursuit of profit.
So, what can be done? Rather than wait for Apple to revive a never-realized attempt at forced transparency (iOS is still better than Android, btw), just bite the bullet and delete those third-party weather apps (also, definitely read the fine print on any app asking to track your location). Google the weather, ask Alexa, or go super analog and just look out the window.
Did this post bring up some uncomfortable questions about your own role in the data economy? Pack a lunch, get some complimentary sweets, and come talk it out at our exploration of the ever-thinning line between marketing and outright stalking.