Microsoft answers questions on Windows Phone tracking amid iPhone scandal

By on April 26, 2011 at 7:39 AM.

Microsoft answers questions on Windows Phone tracking amid iPhone scandal

Might as well let other major mobile operating system manufacturers in on the location-tracking scandal fun, no? While Apple, and to a much lesser extent Google, have come under fire for their phone location storage practices, other major OS manufacturers have been silent. We’re not sure being the “squeaky wheel” would pay dividends in this instance. That hasn’t stopped the media from asking, however, and CNET posed the question to Microsoft: what do you track?

“Microsoft says its operating system transmits the MAC address of the Wi-Fi access point (but not the name), signal strength, a randomly generated unique device ID retained for an unspecified limited period of time, and, if GPS is turned on, the precise location and direction and speed of travel,” writes CNET. “That happens when the ‘application or user makes a request for location information,’ the company says.”

CNET has a laundry list of questions for Microsoft that remain unanswered. The current location brouhaha now has the attention of the courts and some distinguished members of the United States Congress — so we’re betting most major mobile operating system manufacturers will be answering questions in an official capacity in the near future. More →

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Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

By on April 25, 2011 at 3:13 PM.

Apple sued over iPhone location tracking scandal

It was only a matter of time. Apple, Inc. has been named as a defendant in a federal district court suit over the iPhone and iPad 3G location tracking scandalat this point we think it’s safe to refer to it as such. The Cupertino company’s silence over the past week has only intensified rumors and speculation that Apple is, somehow, using this harvested data in a clandestine or nefarious manner. Bloomberg notes that the lawsuit was filed in Tampa, FL by two consumers and, at this point, it is unknown if the duo will seek class action status. Details on the case are scarce at the moment, but we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing about this one. More →

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Skyhook Wireless sues Google over failed Motorola deal

By on September 16, 2010 at 8:53 AM.

Skyhook Wireless sues Google over failed Motorola deal

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that mobile location company Skyhook Wireless is suing Google, alleging that the search giant “interfered with a contract, announced in April, to put its location technology on Motorola Inc. phones.” Skyhook, for those not familiar, is a company that created a system — call XPS — that uses GPS, cellular, and Wi-Fi data to help triangulate the location of a device quickly. The company’s technologies were in previous iterations of iOS and currently are in dozens of mobile devices. The WSJ writes, “Google called Motorola several times to put “stop ship” orders on products containing Skyhook technology and insisted that its own location technology run side-by-side on devices using Skyhook. The result, the complaint states, is that Motorola shipped a device in mid-July without Skyhook technology.” Skyhook says the sour deal cost the company tens of millions of dollars; Motorola has yet to comment on the report. We’ll keep you updated as this one develops.

[Via PhoneScoop] More →

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