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Weather apps continue to share data with third parties

Illustration for item titled Your Weather App Sells You Out

photo:: Sebastian Salguero (Getty Images)

Though I think we can all agree that every app on our phone is likely one invasive little shitI would argue that weather apps deserve their own little corner of hell. We saw weather apps sign people up for services without your sayget creeping Location data from Users who turned on purpose this feature off and pull all other varieties of stunts that make it clear how little it matters to these companies to give their users the choice to opt out.

Case in point: E.IBM Watson Advertising – also known as the advertising arm for IBMs Weather Company company– –announced it will Introducing a new way to track and target us all in a way that supposedly offers more privacy than the typical technology that borders cookies that we have all come to believe know and loathe. Your answer is apparently to round up a lot of other types of sensitive data like what we buy and where we shop and use from the good folks at Nielsen The instead. As IBM explains:

Watson Advertising Weather Targeting leverages enterprise-class AI to analyze over 500 advertising triggers with up to six variables per trigger over 42,000 zip codes per hour, increasing the number of actionable insights the company generates for brands.

With this collaboration, IBM Watson Advertising will introduce a new suite of triggers and insight reports that utilize RMS data and weather from Nielsen of IBM’s The Weather Company to deliver branded actionable advertising solutions that do not rely on third-party personal data and cookies based or identifier.

That’s mostly marketing Speak, so here we give context: U.p Previously, The Weather Channel app – just like countless other free downloadable apps – was partially dependent on pawning certain identifiers such as your device’s unique mobile advertising ID and placein the marketers’ Hands to make ends meet. Despite the fact that combining a unique tag on a particular phone with that phone’s location gives both Marketer and Federal officials the ability to track and aim the phone and its owner with pretty terrifying accuracyUntil recently, the advertising industry managed to hide behind the excuse that nuggets like this mobile identifier were considered effective because, for example, this data did not contain any directly identifiable information (such as the name or address of a phone owner).anonymousAnd unaffected by the current data protection regulations here in the USA.

But either because of the official inscription on the wall across the pondor because Apple just got too damn tired from competitors who build massive mobiles ID-based company without cutting back on the company announced At this year’s WWDC, the iOS 14 software was updated in the fall would Allow iPhone users to put an end to it The ability of an app to capture this mobile ID without the express consent of the user, just like the company’s previous operating system update crazy Location permissions settings. The advertising industry, of course unfoldedGamers around the world are struggling to find a new way to track and target consumers (against their will or otherwise) with the new update, while Apple generously made it available half a year probably sorting out their shit.

That brings us to the announcement of The Weather Channel. If the company’s app is cut off from the tags or exact location of our phone over the next few months, the impact on business – or our privacy – will ultimately be minimal. While the app is probably best known for gathering data about the weather, it has spent the past as well 2 years Collect even more third-party data to find out how the weather is affecting your web browsing and store shopping. Now that it is harder to keep track of the way we browse, it makes sense that the Watson team has to focus on shopping. The end result is not that we are being followed feweronly that we’re being followed in other ways.

As the global executive of Watson Advertising, Sheri Bachstein, told the ad industry flap AdExchanger about the announcement:

The weather, for example, evokes certain moods in people and can have a direct impact on their purchasing behavior, beyond buying an umbrella during a rainstorm or ordering snowshoes in winter.

Watson tracks the aggregate behavior to expose the less obvious things, Bachstein said.

For example, it found that baking chocolate and cocoa sales in central northwestern states like Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri rose 62% during an unusually warm and rainy daily forecast, while wine sales rose 25% during a year, for a one-day forecast Conditions in east-north-central United States including Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

“Factors like humidity, temperature and other weather-related data points can actually be very revealing,” said Bachstein.

In other words, the weather app doesn’t just tell marketing guys whether it’s raining where I am right now, but also how I’ll react to this particular attack of bad weather and whether I’m the type that stays inside and bakes, stays inside and drinks alcohol or stays inside and it doesn’t do anything at all . It’s not just about tracking the weather, but how it affects our collective moods as a whole.

Right now, a lot of people can probably sum up this mood in one word: fear. Some of the most damaging forest fires Recently, the W.est C.oast now, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and kill more than 30 so far. It is now called as Mississippi and Alabama are preparing for that second massive hurricane hit the Golf C.Oast in less than a month. In situations like this where poking your head outside to check the weather means lunging ashes or worse, digital tools for tracking the weather – including apps – are available less a luxury than a necessity. And so is it for IBM A necessity that is extremely lucrative whether you realize it or not.

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