Feeds

Lawsuit alleges that Windows Phone 7 tracks users

Camera app fingered in claims

Top three mobile application threats

Microsoft is facing a lawsuit that claims it tracks the location of its smartphone users, even if they ask not to be followed.

A class action suit was proposed against Microsoft in a filing in the Seattle federal court. The filing alleged that the software giant had lied in its letter to Congress in May this year, when it said it only collected location data with the express permission of the user, according to Reuters.

"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," Microsoft said in the letter.

Worries about how much info smartphones collect and how the captains of the technology industry use that info were kicked into high gear in April, when security researchers said the iPhone kept track of everywhere you went and saved the details to a secret file. The files were stored on the phones and were also copied over to users' computers when they synched with the iPhone, with up to a year's worth of location data kept.

After the story broke, US lawmakers started a probe into location tracking on mobiles, and sent letters to Apple, Microsoft and other mobile OS developers, as well as carriers, asking for information on location data on their phones and tablets.

Today's suit has been brought by a Windows Phone 7 user and claims that Microsoft transmits latitude and longitude coordinates, a unique ID and nearby Wi-Fi access points when the camera application is activated, even when the user has not given it permission to do so. The suit is seeking an injunction and punitive damages.

Microsoft declined to comment when contacted by The Reg. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.