Feeds

Lawsuit alleges that Windows Phone 7 tracks users

Camera app fingered in claims

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
Told to cough up more details as antitrust probe goes deeper
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.