HomeNationalFederal weather app mined location data of nearly one million Canadians

Federal weather app mined location data of nearly one million Canadians

The Trudeau government released another app that tracked the location of around one million Canadians.

The Department of Environment reportedly admitted in a recent Ministry Inquiry that the WeatherCAN application collected personal information of Canadians, including users’ locations and email addresses, according to Blacklock’s Reporter

“All personal information created, held or collected via this app by the department is protected under the Privacy Act,” wrote staff. 

“The ‘current location’ function on this app enables the app to provide weather information based on the current Global Positioning System location of your mobile device.”

When the application was launched, former environment minister Catherine McKenna promoted the app on Twitter encouraging Canadians to download it.

“Oh yes!! (WeatherCAN) app is available for download! Now I can obsess over the super cool radar feature and figure out the likelihood of getting home to snowy Ottawa tonight to see my kids! Check it out!” tweeted McKenna. 

The federal government has said that the application complied with privacy laws and requested access from users upon launch. 

“Access is requested upon launch and achieved only if granted by the user,” the inquiry stated.

“The number of monthly active users is 628,615 to June 1 and the number of inactive users in the last thirty days is 87,176 giving a total number of devices tracked of 715,791.”

The Department of Environment save the data “for the purpose of identifying the mobile device geo-location.”

The model of the phone, the app version, the email address, and any other data entered into the program were among the additional data acquired.

The government ran a highly sketchy data collection campaign scooping up mobile device and location data tracking more than 30 million Canadian mobile devices during the pandemic.

Earlier this year in the House of Commons secretive Public Health Agency of Canada surveillance program was voted to end. Since then, the program has been sent to Canada’s privacy commissioner for auditing and to see if the rights of Canadians were violated.

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