AccuWeather, caught harvesting user data, issues non-response

AccuWeather, a popular climate and forecast app for iOS, has been caught sharing the private location information of its users with revealmobile .com, a data monetization company.

Will Strafach, writing on Medium:

The AccuWeather application for iOS requests location access under the premise of providing users localized severe weather alerts, critical updates, and faster launch time. Granting access to location information will also cause the application to send the following bits of information off to "":

  • Your precise GPS coordinates, including current speed and altitude.
  • The name and "BSSID" of the Wi-Fi router you are currently connected to, which can be used for geolocation through various online services.
  • Whether your device has bluetooth turned on or off.

During a testing period of 36 hours, specifically while the AccuWeather application was not in the foreground, my test iPhone (located on a desk in an office building) sent the above information to RevealMobile a total of 16 times, occuring roughly once every few hours.

Read the whole thing, then decide what will happen first: you deleting AccuWeather or Apple dropping the hammer on them.

Update: Accuweather issues non-response response

I don't even want to quote from what Accuweather posted as a non-response response. It dodges the issues with a classic "we did nothing wrong and if we did we didn't know!" non-defense defense. Shame.

John Gruber has thoroughly torn it apart on Daring Fireball if you want to dive deeper.

And if you didn't delete it before, you'll probably want to now.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.