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AccuWeather app exposed to be tracking user locations without their permission

September 3, 2017

AccuWeather is a popular weather app which is being used by millions of users worldwide. It even has one of the highest ratings for weather apps on various online app stores. However, recent analysis and reports have exposed that the said app has a hidden function which most of its users are not aware of. The AccuWeather app has been found to be sending data of their users’ locations to a third party company even if the user has specifically turned on the restrictions against it or even when location sharing was specifically turned off. As long as the app is installed and running on your device, it will continue sending your exact location data to the third party company which has promised to use the data and turn it into “mobile revenue.”

The company to which the AccuWeather app was caught sending their users’ geolocation data to is a third party data monetization firm called Reveal Mobile. This data sharing done by the said app is continuous even when the location sharing option on your device has been specifically turned off. This security flaw in the popular weather app was found by security researcher Will Strafach when he intercepted data traffic from an iPhone which has installed the latest version of the AccuWeather app. The data intercepted was run through the servers for security analysis and was found that even without permission for tracking a user’s precise location, the app still continued to send the name of the Wi-Fi router and the unique MAC address to the servers of the third party data monetization firm. Once correlated with available public data, this can help reveal the approximate location of the user whose device was running the AccuWeather app.

Due to the public release of this report, users of the popular weather app have expressed their negative sentiments to this hidden security flaw in the app. There are even those that claim to have uninstalled the said app from their phone in order not to risk their personal security and privacy. Others who still use the said app have publicly requested the developers to look into this security flaw and correct it as soon as possible.

AccuWeather’s developers have denied allegations in the report and insisted that as long as a user turns off the location tracking on the AccuWeather app, no GPS coordinates will be collected or shared with other third parties without permission from the user. Despite this fact, the security analysis made by Strafach proves that even without the sharing of GPS coordinates which can help pinpoint the exact location of the app’s user, there is still a possibility for the user’s approximate location to be traced given the other private location data being shared by the said app to third parties. As to this, the statement given by the developers of the popular weather app is unclear as to their position regarding this particular issue.

AccuWeather is a popular weather app which is being used by millions of users worldwide. It even has one of the highest ratings for weather apps on various online app stores. However, recent analysis and reports have exposed that the said app has a hidden function which most of its users are not aware of. The AccuWeather app has been found to be sending data of their users’ locations to a third party company even if the user has specifically turned on the restrictions against it or even when location sharing was specifically turned off. As long as the app is installed and running on your device, it will continue sending your exact location data to the third party company which has promised to use the data and turn it into “mobile revenue.”

The company to which the AccuWeather app was caught sending their users’ geolocation data to is a third party data monetization firm called Reveal Mobile. This data sharing done by the said app is continuous even when the location sharing option on your device has been specifically turned off. This security flaw in the popular weather app was found by security researcher Will Strafach when he intercepted data traffic from a best sms tracker which has installed the latest version of the AccuWeather app. The data intercepted was run through the servers for security analysis and was found that even without permission for tracking a user’s precise location, the app still continued to send the name of the Wi-Fi router and the unique MAC address to the servers of the third party data monetization firm. Once correlated with available public data, this can help reveal the approximate location of the user whose device was running the AccuWeather app.

Due to the public release of this report, users of the popular weather app have expressed their negative sentiments to this hidden security flaw in the app. There are even those that claim to have uninstalled the said app from their phone in order not to risk their personal security and privacy. Others who still use the said app have publicly requested the developers to look into this security flaw and correct it as soon as possible.

AccuWeather’s developers have denied allegations in the report and insisted that as long as a user turns off the location tracking on the AccuWeather app, no GPS coordinates will be collected or shared with other third parties without permission from the user. Despite this fact, the security analysis made by Strafach proves that even without the sharing of GPS coordinates which can help pinpoint the exact location of the app’s user, there is still a possibility for the user’s approximate location to be traced given the other private location data being shared by the said app to third parties. As to this, the statement given by the developers of the popular weather app is unclear as to their position regarding this particular issue.

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