September 26, 2016

Does Windows Phone 7 Track Your Location?

(LiveHacking.Com) – According to Reuters, Microsoft is being sued for intentionally tracking user’s locations even when the user has explicitly requested to not be tracked. The class action, filed in a Seattle federal court, says Microsoft intentionally designed camera software on the Windows Phone 7 operating system to ignore customer requests that they not be tracked.

The lawsuit against Microsoft cites a letter the company sent to Congress. “Collection is always with the express consent of the user and the goal of our collection is never to track where a specific device has been or is going,” said Microsoft in the letter it sent to Congress. The lawsuit maintains that “Microsoft’s representations to Congress were false.”

This isn’t the first time a mobile phone company has been accused of gathering too much information about user locations. In May of this year Apple were forced to release iOS 4.3.3 to fix the so-called Locationgate tracking bugs. The update fixed the bugs which caused iPhones to store up to a years worth of cell tower information which was then synced with iTunes.

This new litigation, brought on behalf of a Windows Phone 7 user, claims Microsoft transmits data, including approximate latitude and longitude coordinates of the user’s device, while the camera application is activated. The plaintiff is seeking an injunction and punitive damages.

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Comments

  1. I think the suit is false. I tried the same sequence of steps, and my camera hub on 7712 didn’t include location information on the pics.

    Also note that full location settings are not all in the camera. There are other location settings. Saying that the “scheme is perpetrated through the camera app” is lies. If the other location services are turned on, then Bing uses them.

    If they are turned off, Bing can’t use them.

    For instance, when Bing search is first brought up, it asks whether the user’s location may be used. If the user answers “cancel”, the new “local scout” icon doesn’t come up, and Bing can’t find the user on the map.

    There is also another location-based question which needs to be taken seriously — on the “Sign in” capability in the Me application. In those settings, the user can opt in or out of using location information to find places nearby to them (which makes an automatic sign in list and avoids the user having to type “Picadilly Cafeteria at Walla Walla Washington Mall Complex” or something equally difficult to type),

    Sounds like someone who doesn’t understand the phone, or a fame-seeker, or a fanboy or girl of some type.

    If this location tracking is real, tell us “EXACTLY” how it works. No secrets

    I’m also quite concerned that our Washington Lawmakers think they have the time or the right to create rulings on technical issues they don’t understand. I hope to God these guys don’t start creating laws to “protect us” and then make all smartphones GPS’ capabilities useless.

    I have a much better ideas what Washington can work on… as a matter of fact, about one trillion of them.