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Lawsuit: Weather Channel illegally shared user location data with advertisers

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The IBM-owned Weather Channel app has been transmitting its users’ precise geolocation data to advertisers and other third parties despite telling users that their location data was needed only for providing local weather data, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by California government officials.

When asking users for permission to turn on location tracking, the iOS and Android app does not “give users any reason to believe that their location data will be used for anything other than personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts,” the lawsuit said.

“Unbeknownst to many users, the Weather Channel App has tracked users’ detailed geolocation data for years, analyzing and/or transferring that data to third parties for a variety of commercial and advertising purposes, including for targeted advertisements based on locations users frequent, and for hedge funds interested in analyzing consumer behavior,” the lawsuit said.

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