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Class Action Suit filed against Windows Mobile Phone 7 for Location Tracking Feature

A class action suit is likely being readied against Microsoft by consumers alleging that the software giant’s Windows Phone 7 operating system tracks the locations of phone owners without asking for consent.

A woman from Michigan has filed the likely class action lawsuit in a Seattle District Court. She claims that Windows Mobile Phone 7 gathers user data from owners of the phone, and continue to do this even if the owners have already opted out of the location-reporting feature. An equally damaging allegation is that Microsoft did not tell the truth to Congress about how much data from location information the device collects.

According to the suit, the location logging feature incorporated into Windows Mobile Phone 7 gets location and network information data directly from the device in order to build a map of WiFi hotspots, cell towers and other related data that can be employed for assisted GPS. The suit further alleges that the information gathered is not just to give phone owners a thorough location-based service but also to create a targeted marketing system that can personalized the ads that are sent to a user’s particular location.

Microsoft, which is expected to fight the class action suit, has assured the public and the US Congress before that data gathering feature will only work if the user has permitted an application to get location services. The company further clarified that the application only gathers location data and nothing else.

Both Android and iOS devices were also accused of getting location data without permission from users but these were eventually fixed in subsequent updates.

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