The company behind The Weather Channel application has agreed to revise its screens disclosing its location-tracking practices as part of its settlement with LA officials. Los Angeles' city attorney filed a lawsuit against the IBM subsidiary back in 2019, accusing it of failing to adequately disclose how their users’ location information would be used.
Part of the lawsuit read:
“For years, TWC 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 while leading users to believe that their data will only be used to provide them with 'personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts.”
TWC spokesperson Melissa Medori told ABC News in a statement that “the Weather Company has always been transparent about its use of location data.” She added that the company “fundamentally disagreed with this lawsuit from the start, and during the case [it] showed that the claims were baseless.”
As the city attorney’s announcement noted, TWC and IBM revised the app’s original disclosure screens soon after the lawsuit was filed. The settlement documents (PDF) contain more proposed changes to the prompts, though, and they’d clearly state that TWC may share user data with partners for ad purposes if the revisions are implemented. Here’s an excerpt:
Location and Your Weather
How We Use and Share Location Information
The new screens will also clarify that users can still use the app without giving it access to their location. They can simply enter a location by hand if they don’t mind not getting real—time information and access to other features dependent on one’s location. In addition to agreeing to revise its disclosure prompts, TWC has also agreed to notify LA’s city attorney of any future changes to its disclosure screens over the next two years.