updated 07:35 pm EDT, Fri September 23, 2011
WP7 shown to access user data without permission
Windows Phone 7 jailbreaker Rafael Rivera has demonstrated that the Windows Phone 7 camera application collects user data without permission. In testing Microsoft’s claims that it does not collect data without permission, Rivera found that data packets are sent back to Microsoft even after users opt out of sharing their location. The claims were tested in response to a current lawsuit underway where are user accuses the Redmond-based company of tracking users unlawfully.
In his research Rivera found that packets are sent from a user’s mobile to agps.location.live.net as well as Microsoft’s Location Inference service located at inference.location.live.net. The revelations, if accurate, contradict Microsoft’s own claims about user privacy.
In a statement issued on the matter, a Microsoft spokesperson stated:
“Microsoft is investigating the claims raised in the complaint. We take consumer privacy issues very seriously. Our objective was — and remains — to provide consumers with control over whether and how data used to determine the location of their devices are used, and we designed the Windows Phone operating system with this in mind.”
Rivera claims that information being transmitted back to Microsoft includes the OS version of the device, device information, wireless access points around the device including MAC addresses and power levels, as well as GUID-based identifiers.
Rivera suggests that Microsoft may be caching the data should a user choose to accept the location services functionality. He adds, though that, “The question is whether the Microsoft servers in question are in fact collecting data about the phone or simply returning this information with no storage abilities.”
Microsoft has not yet issued any statement in response to the latest claims. [via Winrumors]