Privacy Watchdog Brings Weather App into Compliance with Location Data Best Practices for Digital Advertising

For Immediate Release
Contact: Abby Hills, Director of Communications, BBB National Programs

703.247.9330 / press@bbbnp.org

Arlington, VA – September 10, 2020 – BBB National Programs’ privacy watchdog, the Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), today released the result of a new data privacy case for Kansas City-based app publisher Pinsight Media, focused on the company’s location data practices for its popular 1Weather app.  

DAAP, through its standard monitoring procedures of data flows of popular mobile apps, found that the 1Weather app, which has 50 million downloads in the Google Play Store, was authorizing third-party adtech companies to collect device IDs and geolocation data. DAAP sent Pinsight an inquiry letter and the company worked swiftly to improve upon its compliance obligations to consumers under the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles, industry best practices for online privacy.

Pinsight took the following actions to comply with the Principles:

  • Engineered a patch to the Android version of the 1Weather app to provide users with robust up-front disclosures, specifically including ad partners’ use of location data for targeted ads
  • Disabled the third-party collection of location data on its iOS version of the 1Weather app
  • Updated its privacy policies across all apps to include an enhanced notice jump link that takes users to information about interest-based advertising
  • Updated its notices to provide consumer privacy opt-out tools
  • Added a statement of adherence to the DAA Principles to its privacy policies

"Because of its sensitivity, the use of precise location data for ad targeting requires heightened notice to end users," said Jon Brescia, Vice President, DAAP. "This allows people to give informed consent for this purpose rather than agreeing, in one go, to a broad and undefined set of practices which may also include location tracking."

Today’s case release brings to 122 the public actions taken by DAAP since the program began its self-regulatory mission in 2011.

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About BBB National Programs:  BBB National Programs is where businesses turn to enhance consumer trust and consumers are heard. The non-profit organization creates a fairer playing field for businesses and a better experience for consumers through the development and delivery of effective third-party accountability and dispute resolution programs. Embracing its role as an independent organization since the restructuring of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in June 2019, BBB National Programs today oversees more than a dozen leading national industry self-regulation programs, and continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-directed marketing, and privacy. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the Digital Advertising Accountability Program: The Digital Advertising Accountability Program (DAAP), a division of BBB National Programs, was developed by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) to enforce industry self-regulation principles for data privacy in online and mobile advertising, holding companies accountable to the DAA’s Privacy Principles. DAAP provides guidance to companies looking to comply with industry principles and responds to complaints filed by consumers about online privacy. 

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