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Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-looking-at-me dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Microsoft wants to emulate the success of the iPhone, but they probably didn't want to follow in Apple's footsteps this way: a class action lawsuit claims that Windows Phone 7 is collecting location data on users, even when they request that it stop. But a look at the internals shows that Microsoft might not be acting as Big Brother-ish as it appears."
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Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users

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  • What's he testing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @08:59PM (#37281790)
    He concluded that "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 the Camera application to share location information or not."

    Is he testing Windows Mobile or Windows Phone 7? I RTFA and the linked articles and can't seem to find the testing methodology or any documentation.

    And wouldn't you want that accurate location information to be sent if you were using the Find My Phone thing (just like you would with Apple's Find My iPhone):
    Microsoft's "Find My Phone," meanwhile, only keeps the device's most recent location, the company said.

    Of course you have to trust that the company is only keeping the most recent location but that's the case with all providers.
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @09:53PM (#37282064) Homepage

    I've had a Windows Phone 7 device since day one, and it asks at every turn before doing something that would collect location (or any other) data. If it's true and not just a misconfigured device or data being poorly interpreted, I'd be surprised if it was intentional.

    But, I know I know. Always assume the worst yada yada. Microsoft is evil, right?

  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by causality (777677) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @10:55PM (#37282344)

    Can you spot the bitter Windows Phone developer? Look carefully. They may look like an Android or iPhone developer, but if you approach them slowly and flip them over quickly you can identify them by their long umbilical cord stretching back to MSDN colony mother.

    I don't develop for any phone. I can tell you that the most obvious, least clever, most repetitive, least novel jokes constantly get rewarded with a +5 visibility around here. And naturally if you don't think this is the epitome of humor, if you want something better like original creative humor that makes you laugh instead of making you roll your eyes, you either "don't get the joke" or you're "from the enemy tribe", in this case that would be MSDN. It's sort of like watching robots increment their humor variable.

    If I had to sum it up with a single word, the word that comes to mind is "circlejerk". It's some kind of circle or feedback cycle. Repetition branded as "humor" gets rewarded here so as a result we get more of it. Maybe this is what trolls with mod points do when they run out of GNAA posts, like a very subtle kind of crapflood. If so, I salute their cleverness and the effectiveness of the tactic. Unlike the pro-lifers who murder doctors or the politicians who come up with new restrictions for the "land of the free", I do have a sense of irony, so you could regard this post as me having taken the bait if you like.

    Occasionally I'll see a joke here that's not a repetitive meme and wasn't trivially predictable. Even more occasionally they get modded up. I think they're the only reason I don't configure this account to display "+5 Funny" as "-1". Well, that and I browse at -1 so it'd make no material difference.

    Anyway, I'll make at least a feeble effort to remain on-topic. I think this lawsuit is great. If anything that even looks like perhaps it might possibly be unsolicited tracking/spying/etc results in tons of legal headaches for the companies involved, this can only be a good thing. I hope it makes them afraid to do anything that even looks like it might invade privacy. I would call that a better world.

    If that's the only way to get companies to start respecting their customers, that's a shame but I consider that their choice. They want to do it the hard way, so be it. They could have done it voluntarily, out of respect, but force (i.e. of law) is the only thing they seem to understand. Finally the lust for money and status of the trial attorneys can be put to good use.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler

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