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Microsoft Joins Apple in Location Tracking Allegations from Customers

September 13, 2011
Colson Hicks Eidson

First, it was Apple, and now customers have accused Microsoft of tracking their locations through the Windows Phone 7 operating system. As reported at digitaltrends.com, a lawsuit seeking class action status accuses Microsoft of gathering information about personal locations even if the user opts out of location reporting.

A woman filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle, claiming Microsoft uses a person’s location to create ads unique to that user’s location. The lawsuit also accuses Microsoft of using its camera application to gather information about the user’s location even if a user opts out of the location reporting service.

If the plaintiff’s allegations are true, it means that Microsoft lied to Congress. Earlier this year, a representative from Microsoft testified before a Congressional panel on mobile privacy. He said the company does collect some location information from users but it is for the purposes of creating “rich experiences.” He said the goal is not to track a customer’s location, and that the information it collects is very limited in scope.

Either way, Microsoft has not yet responded to the lawsuit. After Microsoft’s Answer, the plaintiff will ask the judge to certify the lawsuit as a class action.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Florida attorneys