Et tu, Microsoft? Microsoft being sued for collecting location data without consent

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Apple has been the public whipping boy for location concerns a few months ago, but it seems that even Microsoft is guilty of the same thing. A class action lawsuit filed against the software giant in Seattle alleges that their mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, collects users location data even after you opt out or say no. The piece of code (pictured above) was found by Samy Kamkar in the camera’s application. Once you fire it up, it users if they want to allow the app to use their location. Kamkar found out that even if you say no, the device still proceeds to gather location information anyway.

“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 it,” said Kamkar. Kamkar started poking around the code at the behest of Seattle-based law firm Tousley Brain Stephens, which filed the suit saying, “Microsoft surreptitiously forces even unwilling users into its non-stop geo-tracking program in the interest of developing its digital marketing grid.”

If the allegations do turn out to be true, then Microsoft is in a perilous position – during the heady days of Apple’s locationgate scandal, the firm sent a letter to congress saying that Windows Phone 7 will not store any location data unless a user has “expressly allowed an application to collect” it.

Source: CNET, Tech Crunch