A while back there was an issue with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform. Much like other mobile platforms such as Android and iOS, it appeared at that time that WP7 was collecting user location data, the same data that landed Apple in hot soup. However Microsoft claimed that WP7 does not collect user location data unless the user explicitly gives their consent. A WP7 jailbreaker by the name of Rafael Rivera who developed the WP7 jailbreaking tool, ChevronWP, is saying otherwise.

Take note that while conducting his tests, he was running on Windows Phone OS 7.0.7004.0, so we can’t be sure if Mango will “fix” this issue or if it has been removed since. In the tests that he conducted, it seemed that information such as OS version, Device Information, Wireless access points in the vicinity and other identifiers were being transmitted to agps.location.live.net and inference.location.live.net.

What was troubling was that all these packets of information are being sent even before he gave his consent to the camera application to collect his location data. It seems that this applies to the different builds of WP7 (Mango not withstanding). We can’t be sure what Microsoft is using this location data for, and the question that is being asked is whether Microsoft stores this data or if they’re kept as a temporary file and then deleted after it has been used. Either way, if this turns out to be true, Microsoft will have a lot of explaining to do.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about jailbreaking, Microsoft, privacy and Windows Phone 7.

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