Snippet: AccuWeather Sends Location Data Even When Location Services Are Disabled ☇

Shared on August 23, 2017

Will Strafach:

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.

This kind of behavior is about as scummy as you can get in the world of iOS. AccuWeather should be ashamed for violating the trust of users, and anyone who does use their apps should look for alternatives.

Update: John Gruber’s comments on AccuWeather’s response are also spot-on.

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