Friday, September 30, 2011

Lets play Whack-a-Mole with location services

Time to take a bat to Microsoft. Ever since Balmer became the head honcho there the number of missteps made by this company have been breathtaking.

I noticed this article on BGR the other day - Developer says Microsoft lied to government about Windows Phone location tracking

The latest is their claim to the U.S House of Representatives that WinMoPho doesn’t:

“collect information to determine the approximate location of a device unless a user has expressly allowed an application to collect location information” and that “Microsoft only collects information to help determine a phone’s approximate location if (a) the user has allowed an application to access and use location data, and (b) that application actually requests the location data”.

Turns out some WinMoPho developer who initially believed that Microsoft does no wrong discovered that WinMoPho actually does rat you out to Redmond without your permission. He was able to isolate the data traffic between his handset and Microsoft servers and this was before he gave his permission to his WinMoPho to collect and send that data.


After Apple and Google having this sort of infantile upchuck fall in their laps you’d think that Microsoft would have seen it coming. They didn’t because, like everyone else, they see torrents of cash coming from location based advertising and providing geolocation data to advertisers.
Sadly their execution was about as hamfisted as we’ve come to expect.

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