Lawsuit alleges Microsoft collects WP7 location data without permission


5 Aug 2011
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iOS came under fire a while back, and now, Windows Phone 7 might just share a similar fate for its alleged location tracking. A report published by a security researcher apparently shows WP7’s camera application transmitting a variety of location data, the user’s unique ID, as well as nearby Wi-Fi access points, to Microsoft.
A lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft, asking for class-action status, claiming that the Redmond giant is in violation of a variety of communications and consumer protection acts, apart from its own user guidelines, by not taking the explicit permission of users before it collects location, and other data.
The researcher, Samy Kamkar, hired by the legal team, says the data is sent to Microsoft’s “” server, even if the user denies the app’s request to transmit. In his report, he states:
"The Windows Mobile operating system is clearly sending information that can lead to accurate location information of the mobile device regardless of whether the user allowed it."

The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft is using this data to develop its “digital marketing grid.” However, just like in the case of iOS, there is no direct evidence that Microsoft is actually using this data for anything, even for enhancing location fixing. So far, Microsoft has reportedly not commented on the issue.
Apple had called the transmission without permission a “bug,” one that it ironed out of the system with the iOS 4.3.3 update.

Source : Digit
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