Is Microsoft tracking Windows Phone users or not?

So there has been a back and forth regarding Microsoft’s Windows Phone and location tracking services.

Microsoft has sworn up and down ( to the U.S. House of Representatives) that:

1. User Choice and Control. Microsoft does not collect information to determine the approximate location of a device unless a user has expressly allowed an application to collect location information. Users that have allowed an application to access location data always have the option to access to location at an application level or they can disable location collection altogether for all applications by disabling the location service feature on their phone.

2. Observing Location Only When the User Needs It. Microsoft only collects information to help determine a phone’s approximate location if (a) the user has allowed an application to access and use location data, and (b) that application actually requests the location data. If an application does not request location, Microsoft will not collect location data.

Well it seems that this might not quite be true.

Super blogger Rafael Rivera did his own rough test with a Windows Phone and discovered that the Windows Phone WAS sending information without the users (his) consent and that information did contain geographic location data.

So, that’s not speculation, that’s a fact.

As Paul (the man) Thurrott has pointed out (without making excuses for Microsoft), it’s not clear whether they stored this data that they capture. Bottom line is that Microsoft have some explaining to do.

Here’s my Poll Question:

  • Rodney Jenkins

    Yeah those motherf*ckers are sneaky alright…

  • Ben

    Why should it come as any surprise that Microsoft is collecting data?  Wasn’t it proven several times that Google hasn’t been entirely truthful about what it collects?  How about Facebook?  My guess is probably any company involved with computers, the internet, operating systems, other software, etc is collecting data without user knowledge. 

  • Krom597

    Microsoft needs more data. Data that it can use against you. Sell on the open market etc, most companies do it, however that doesn’t make it right. Balmers bastards need to admit to it and stop with all the B.S.