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How do you spell “creepy”? Dictionary.com responds to “spying” accusations

How do you spell “creepy”? Dictionary.com responds to “spying” accusations

Far be it from Dictionary.com to mince words. The online definition resource is responding to critics after it was accused of stealthily updating its terms of service to include new permissions that compromise users’ privacy. The update was spotted by a Reddit user and reported on yesterday by TNW. Among the permissions is one that lets Dictionary.com’s app access its users’ precise location, something that isn’t sitting right with privacy-conscious users who wonder why an online dictionary needs to know where you are.

In a statement to Fast Company, a spokesperson for Dictionary.com—which is owned by IAC/InterActive—said the permission helps enhance mapping abilities and features like location-based lookups. The company also says it gave plenty of notice before updating its terms.

The full statement is below:

“Dictionary.com updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy on July 24, and provided in-app notification 15 days in advance and 15 days following to all users upon opening the app. The updates are designed to help us make Dictionary.com an even better experience. Knowing our users’ location allows us to enhance certain features, such as our mapping capability, which allows users to see popular lookups from others nearby, in addition to playing a role in improving the ad experience supporting our free apps. Other permissions are tied to features such as the ability to look up words from other apps or while offline. We are committed to providing the best possible Dictionary.com experience through our app, which has been downloaded more than 100M times, and that includes following best practices and clearly communicating changes to our users.”

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