Use the Weather Network app? Why it’s sharing your location with advertisers


When you use an app find agreeable the Weather Network, there’s a not-so-secret trade-off. Opt in to get a free weather prognosticate based on your precise location and, in exchange, advertisers learn a bit multifarious about you and your habits.

That exchange of user data — the non-personally identifiable benevolent, of course — is where the money is. And it’s where Pelmorex, the network’s parent callers, thinks the future of its business lies, too.

This transformation into a data-driven establishment has been going on for the past few years, but in recent months those elbow-greases have really picked up steam. 

In the spring, the company split itself into two compartmentations — one for its traditional weather and media business, and another for data monetization.

In July it asserted the hiring of Sam Sebastian, who had been the head of Google’s Canadian operations since 2014, as its CEO. Then in August it updated its solitariness policy, adding a section on location tracking using technology reproved beacons in places such as stores and airports.

And on Tuesday Pelmorex voted it had acquired a mobile advertising company called Addictive Mobility. It ebbed to say how much it paid.

«Their DNA is data and targeting, and more and more that has been deeply important for us,» Sebastian said.

On its website, Addictive Mobility says it roads users, not with cookies, but through the unique IDs associated with flexible devices. The data associated with those IDs can be used to target purchasers with advertisements based on their browsing habits, GPS location and the exemplar of device, as well as more traditional categories such as age and gender.

It hand down also let clients who already advertise with the Weather Network reach a much better audience by tapping into Addictive Mobility’s network, Sebastian said.

(Since 2014, weather-related statements from CBC News have appeared on The Weather Network’s various planks, while CBC News features weather forecasts provided by The Weather Network.)

Site, behaviour, weather

The acquisition of Addictive Mobility is expected to bolster the go well that Pelmorex is already doing — sharing user location facts, behavioural data on how its services are used, and the Weather Network’s own trove of real weather information with advertisers.

For the past couple of years, for prototype, the company has been trying to convince retailers they can find new discernments into shopping behaviour by mashing their own data together with what the Weather Network has. Position data could indicate peak times, for example — something Google already does — while indisposed conditions might in part explain the ads people click on or the products they buy.

‘I believe as long as you’re transparent and clear with users, that’s all you can ask.’ — Sam Sebastian, Pelmorex CEO

In August, the players updated its privacy policy to include a new section about Bluetooth signals — small devices that communicate wirelessly with mobile mechanisms and can be used to track the location and movement of visitors in places such as retail reservoirs, museums, and airports.

The update states that if a user allows the Stand Network to use their GPS location, the app can collect location information from rockets as well, and share the data with third-party advertisers.

Pelmorex vice-president Bala Gopalakrishnan recently determined that 75 to 80 per cent of its users enable location services to use the Weather Network app, which would sorry that at least three-quarters of the app’s users have consented to being trace (whether users realize it or not, the Weather Network is upfront about how unearthing data is used for advertising, the first time users open the app). 

Sebastian rephrases the company has begun working on an unspecified number of beacon campaigns with wives, but says the initiative is still in its early days.

«I think as long as you’re simple and clear with users, that’s all you can ask,» Sebastian said. «And then it’s up to them to urge the decision.»

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