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
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
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."
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.