The data serves no weather-related objective, but was only collected in order to allow TWC to turn a profit, the complaint reads. IBM has actively worked to paint itself as having better data practices than consumer platforms like Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
"Think how Orwellian it feels to live in a world where a private company is tracking potentially every place you go, every minute of every day", Feuer said.
"If the price of getting the weather forecast is the sacrifice of your most personal info about where you spend your time, you need to be clearly told in advance", Feuer said.
IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has used the attention around data privacy to try and differentiate IBM from other tech companies, saying the dominant consumer tech platforms should face more scrutiny from regulators.
The complaint contends that "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 the while leading users to believe that their data will only be used to provide them with "personalized local weather data, alerts and forecasts'".
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It's of no effect at this point, and it does no good to go backward and talk about this, that or the other. But the past is the past and I'm still playing.I really won't reflect on what has happened until I retire.
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction prohibiting TWC from continuing to collect and sell the data, along with civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation.
That statement is attributed to an October 13, 2016 post by Stephanie Miles, on streetfightmag.com.
Marketed as the "world's most downloaded weather app", The Weather Channel app claims approximately 45 million users a month, the lawsuit said. Citing an October 18, 2016 post by Michelle Manafy on another blog, digitalcontentnext.org, the complaint states: "As the general manager of TWC's Consumer Division admitted, '(i) f a consumer is using your product and says, 'Hey, wait a minute, why do they want to know where I am?' ... you are going to have some problems".
The suit alleges that The Weather Company is actually motivated by sending this data to "IBM affiliates and other third parties for advertising and other commercial purposes entirely unrelated to either weather or the Weather Channel App's services".
More than 1,000 apps contain location-sharing code created by companies who share it with advertisers. Any court decision would only apply to California.
In the lawsuit, Feuer adds that the company's "core business is amassing and profiting from user location data" and its failure to notify users of its intent is "no mere oversight". It does not say how the company benefits from the information. But Feuer said the company has yet to correct the practices at the heart of the lawsuit.