A new lawsuit filed this week claims that smartphones that have Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system installed track the location of those phone's owners. As Reuters reports, the lawsuit claims that the tracking continues even if users have chosen not to have this feature turned on. The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Seattle on Wednesday on behalf of Windows Phone 7 user Rebecca Cousineau.
The class action lawsuit centers on the camera software in the operating system. It claims that when the camera application is turned on, the operating system then sends out the latitude and longitude coordinates of the phone to Microsoft. News.com reports that the law firm handling the case hired a security researcher who found that the phones sent the location info to Microsoft's inference.location.live.net. This happens even if the phone's user chooses not to send that information to the company.
The lawsuit also claims that Microsoft, in a letter sent to members of the US Congress in May, said it only collects location data of its phone users with their consent. The lawsuit says bluntly, "Microsoft's representations to Congress were false."
The lawsuit is looking for an injunction against Microsoft along with punitive damages. So far Microsoft has yet to respond to the lawsuit. The litigation is being filed just as Microsoft is about to release the next version of its smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7.5, along with new phones that will support the update.