The Dirty Little Secret About That Free Weather App on Your Phone

If you opt into location services through your favorite app, the chances of someone selling that data are high, especially when it comes to apps that deliver weather information.

Weather and advertising are big business because basic weather data costs very little to ingest and regurgitate while offering enormous upside to users, like watches, warnings, radar, etc.

Beyond advertising, end-to-end location data sourced from a weather app is even more valuable than advertising. Why? Because weather app users typically leave location services turned on so as not to miss important info. This creates more complete data on individual device activity. Complete data is valuable data.

This article published by the New York Times today outlines several offending apps, one of which is a very large and lucrative weather app called WeatherBug. I’d wager that this app is on your phone right now, in fact. A list of specifics about what this app collects and sends can be found here.

For disclosure, Weather Decision Technologies Inc. apps like RadarScope and WeatherRadio DO NOT share information collected about user location. That’s why our apps are paid apps. We’d rather ask you for your money than your privacy.

It’s more important than ever to read and understand the Terms of Use and Privacy Policies for any application, but especially those leveraging location services.