A class action lawsuit has been files against HTC and the proclaimed AccuWeather on the grounds that AccuWeather tracks user location to within a few feet, and then transmits the information across the internet in an unencrypted form, to be used to deliver targeted advertising.
It was also asserted that there is no way to turn off the app – and therefore no way to stop the location information being made available.
Business Briefing reports
The complaint said that the information transmitted is “unnecessarily precise” for a weather forecast, and was being used “for the defendants’ own purposes unrelated to weather information.” The devices are capable of supplying “coarse” location data, which is less accurate.
It was also said that the transmission of data in unencrypted form is “substandard,” especially since the device is capable of sending data over the Internet using SSL encryption.
The case is calling for refunds, a replacement smartphone, or the premium paid for the devices “above the amount charged for similar, adequately labeled products.”
HTC is involved in this lawsuit is because AccuWeather is shipped pre-installed on many HTC handsets. So that makes HTC, knowingly or unknowingly, a co-culprit in the crime.
Also, as per the document related to the lawsuit
39. Another unreasonable security defect in HTC smartphone is the HtcLoggers service feature on the smartphones. This is not a feature available for Plaintiffs and Class Members to use; it is, however, available to the providers of third-party apps installed on Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ smartphones.
40. The HtcLoggers feature allows any Internet-connected app, regardless of its purpose, to access Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ email addresses; phone numbers for calls dialed and received; fine and coarse location and location history; text messages; and activity logs for all apps running on the smartphone—essentially, all information regarding all activity
on the smartphone.
41. HTC Corporation reportedly has acknowledged the HtcLogger defect3 but has failed to alert purchasers, rectify the defect, investigate AccuWeather’s use and/or onward transfer of purchasers’ detailed geographic location data, or remediate AccuWeather’s retention of such data.
So now HTC is in some serious trouble.