Windows Phone Sends Location Data Without Permission

Microsoft has been shown to be sending location information to their servers from your phone without bothering to ask permission, a move that’s not only in opposition to their claims, but one that could end in a costly lawsuit. This information comes on the back of a lawsuit filed in Seattle that claims Microsoft was doing just that, which the tech giant denied.

Hacker extraordinaire Rafael Rivera decided to get to the bottom of it, and picked apart what was going on with the Camera app, and he found that without asking permission, the phones were sending off not only GPS location, but also:

  • OS Version
  • Device Information
  • Wireless access points around me (MAC addresses, power levels)
  • Various GUID-based identifiers
Rivera doesn’t believe that this information is being used in a manner deliberately to gather information on the sly, but rather precaching it for when it’s needed, which he describes as:

Camera app: “Hey, I need you to get ready, I’m about to request location data”.
Location service: “Sure thing, boss. While you’re busy, I’ll figure out where I am and cache the results.”

Even so, it’s in direct violation of Microsoft’s own policies, and hopefully will be promptly rectified.
[via WinRumors]

Leave a Reply