Microsoft Sued For Collecting User Information Against Wishes

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Microsoft is persistently collecting user information, even after users have opted out of location tracking services according to a law suit filed in Seattle’s Federal court.

The class action law suit has been filed by Rebecca Cousineau and claims Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS is designed to continue collecting data that can reimagine a person’s whereabouts, even after they’ve nominated not to.

“Microsoft intentionally tracks the movements of its users’ mobile devices in direct contravention of their privacy settings and the law. While Microsoft claims that users may opt-out of its location-tracking program, Microsoft has designed its mobile operating software to track its users locations deceptively even after they affirmatively deny such consent.,” said the claim.

TechFlash report when accessing the camera for the first time, a text box appears asking users if they want to geo-tag their photos and feed location based information to Microsoft. Cousineau is arguing despite nominating not to share information with Microsoft, they continued to collect “the approximate latitude and longitude coordinates of the user’s device, a unique identifier for the device, current date and time, and the locations of the closest cellular tower and WiFi network.”

The lawsuit contends this information can reimagine a person’s location and is being used by Microsoft to profile customers so they can target them with tailored advertisements: a business rival Google is well versed in.

Lawyers in the suit make reference to Microsoft’s letter to Congress in May, which explicitly states WP7 users can opt out of location sharing:

“To provide these rich experiences, Microsoft collects limited information necessary to determine the approximate location of a device. Collection is always with the express consent of the user and the goal of our collection is never to track where a specific device has been or is going.”

So far, Microsoft has failed to comment.


 

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