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Windows Phone 7 operating system  (Source: liewcf.com)
The lawsuit was filed in a Seattle federal court yesterday, and claims that Microsoft intentionally designed the camera's software on WP7 so that customer requests to not be tracked would be ignored

Earlier this year, we discovered that Apple was tracking users' locations via iPhones and iPads, and then storing this information in a local file. Now, Microsoft is allegedly tracking users' locations with software on the Windows Phone 7.

Camera software on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 operating system has allegedly been tracking the location of its mobile users -- even after they request that the tracking software be turned off. 

U.S. citizen and Windows Phone 7 user Rebecca Cousineau is now 
suing Microsoft on her own behalf and on behalf of all others who have this software. The proposed class action was filed in a Seattle federal court yesterday, and claims that Microsoft intentionally designed the camera's software on WP7 so that customer requests to not be tracked would be ignored. In addition, the litigation claims that Microsoft transmits data while the camera software is on, such as latitude and longitude coordinate's of the device. 

The lawsuit also presents a letter that Microsoft sent to Congress saying that the company only collects geolocation data with consent of the user. 

"Microsoft's representations to Congress were false," said the lawsuit. 

The case is Rebecca Cousineau, individually on her own behalf and on behalf of others similarly situated v. Microsoft Corp., 11-cv-1438. It will take place in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, and Cousineau seeks an injunction as well as punitive damages and "other remedies."
 

The tech industry has faced increased scrutiny from lawmakers in recent years due to the exploitation of location data for marketing-related reasons without the user's consent. Tech companies like Apple and social networking giant Facebook are just a couple of examples of those who collect information such as geolocation data. With the data/location mining industry becoming a "potentially multibillion-dollar industry," tech companies are beginning to jump on the bandwagon.



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Intentionally...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 9:54:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
claims that Microsoft intentionally designed the camera's software on WP7 so that customer requests to not be tracked would be ignored.


How is this woman going to prove they "intentionally" ignore the request. This could simply be chalked up to a mistake in writing the code. I'm sorry but programmers are human too, we make mistakes. I think it was a mistake to word it that they intentionally did this. If instead she was suing just because they did do it and they allowed faulty software out the door that might make a little more sense.




RE: Intentionally...
By DrApop on 9/1/2011 10:16:37 AM , Rating: 3
Well, did she tell them not to track her? Did they say they would not? Are they still "logging" her locations?

If they said they would not track yet they still have, and are receiving locations data AND logging the information. Well that is more than a simple programming error.

If they are not logging the info but are still receiving the info, they ought to tell users that it can't be turned off even if MS isn't collecting the data.

Just my opinion


RE: Intentionally...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 10:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
But if no one told of the bug they would not know that it is there. Also it could be a simple program error if say when you hit "Don't Track Me" some code might have been commented out when they were developing and forgot to uncomment it. It could be as simple as that. I am just saying the lady doesn't have a clue why it is still tracking but I highly doubt it is because MSFT intentionally left it to track her.


RE: Intentionally...
By kleinma on 9/1/2011 10:21:50 AM , Rating: 3
I am more curious to know exactly how this woman knows data is being transmitted???


RE: Intentionally...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 10:24:08 AM , Rating: 1
I bet this is more an issue in that she accidently hit yes track me when she meant to say no.


RE: Intentionally...
By R3T4rd on 9/1/2011 10:30:03 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds like this is the case. Until technically proven like that of Apple's iPhone, I would take what this women claims with a grain of salt. I want facts not someone crying foul.


RE: Intentionally...
By Ristogod on 9/1/2011 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 1
It's hard to believe that anyone could be so up in arms over the whole deal. Quite frankly I don't buy her concern that her privacy was violated and therefore she MUST sue. This is obviously an opportunist hoping to make a quick buck at the expense of a huge conglomeration where it seems that it has no real impact on any other human beings.

I say send this lady downstream.


RE: Intentionally...
By DrApop on 9/1/2011 11:29:42 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like you have absolutely no problem if businesses and or the government says that they MUST track your locations 24/7...ala "1984"


RE: Intentionally...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 11:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
But it's different if you choice to be stupid and hit yes track em instead of no don't which is probably what happened here.


RE: Intentionally...
By drycrust3 on 9/1/2011 12:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sounds like you have absolutely no problem if businesses and or the government says that they MUST track your locations 24/7...ala "1984"

The location of a phone (or whatever) is probably less useful to a government than the conversations going on around it, and the software to record those as mp3 and then transmit them to a remote location has been readily available on the internet for quite a while. The fact this lady claims Microsoft is tracking her but not recording her conversations is a pretty good indication this is more likely to be an accident than a government sponsored feature.
As I understand it, if you mobile phone can be pinged by two or more cell phone towers then the cell phone company knows where you are with reasonable accuracy.
My guess is that if this was intentional then I really doubt that this lady would have found out about it because it would have been designed so that even suspicious experts would have trouble finding it. There are probably a dozen different ways a government could track a phone that are less detectable than what has happened here (e.g. being pinged by several towers).


RE: Intentionally...
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 12:02:04 PM , Rating: 1
It's funny, I'll bet you are one of the same people who feigned outrage over the whole iPhone 4 tracks-your-location thing.


RE: Intentionally...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2011 11:17:27 AM , Rating: 2
Just another ridiculous try to get rich quick lawsuit. At no point were her rights or person violated and she can't prove any malice or intent on Microsoft's part.


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