WP7 does not log your location

It was recently discovered that Apple's iOS logged your location and that it was possible to take the stored data and turn it into a graphic that showed your previous location. It was also noted that Android does log your location as well but you are able to opt out of the service.

But what about Microsoft's platform, Windows Phone 7? According to PCmag, who reached out to Microsoft to determine if WP7 also recorded users locations, they do not track your location. Microsoft stated that

unequivocally that phones running Windows Phone 7 do not store location history. Like most other phones, the platform offers plenty of location-based apps, and those apps require user consent before they begin tracking. Windows Phones also offer the common feature of a "global switch" that lets the user disable all location services, and Microsoft says its "Find My Phone" service keeps only the phone's most recent location.

For those who are worried about their location being tracked, it would seem that WP7 would be your best bet for a mobile phone platform. For Microsoft, this represents a small victory in the name of security as they continue to build the brand image of WP7.

Microsoft has been pushing WP7 at every turn. Their latest mobile OS has been growing steadily but has experienced a few bumps in the road. While the update saga was drawn out, hopefully Microsoft learned a thing or two during those issues and will be able to remedy the situation when Windows 7.5 update is pushed out.

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Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Apple's Location Tracking in iOS


"We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go," Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said today in a telephone interview. "If you are a federal marshal you have to have a warrant to do this kind of thing, and Apple is doing it without one."

The two plaintiffs, an iPhone user in Florida and an iPad user in New York, are asking a judge to bar Apple from collecting the location data and requesting refunds for the purchase prices for their devices, claiming that they would not have bought them if they had known about the data collection.

http://www.macrumors.com/2011/...s-location-tracking-in-ios/

"and those apps require user consent before they begin tracking. Windows Phones also offer the common feature of a "global switch" that lets the user disable all location services"

So exactly the same as Android then...

NightSt@lk3r said,
"and those apps require user consent before they begin tracking. Windows Phones also offer the common feature of a "global switch" that lets the user disable all location services"

So exactly the same as Android then...

What is exactly the use of a Smartphone without location services, be it Facebook Places or Google/Bing maps or turn-by-turn navigation...... or many other applications that require user's location.

alexalex said,

What is exactly the use of a Smartphone without location services, be it Facebook Places or Google/Bing maps or turn-by-turn navigation...... or many other applications that require user's location.

The problem with the iPhone is that it appears to keep this data whether you consented or not, *and* it keeps a complete history. AND it transfers it to your PC and other devices. Secretly. And it's not very secure. And you can't opt out (I need to test this one because there is a switch that claims to turn off all location data).

This breaks fundamental rules of the UK Data Protection laws. They can probably get around it because Apple themselves don't have the data, it's stored on your own devices, but it's still sketchy and shows a fundamental lack of respect for users rights and privacy.

bob_c_b said,
But it doesn't matter since no one uses WP7 anyway.

I use it... and its ****.

This was the reason I got a WP7 the only reason I got one!

This whole tracking thing is super creepy. I am looking at buying a new phone very soon, learning that WP7 doesn't track me in an incentive in its favour.

I find it odd that only a few short decades ago if a company was busted tracking its customers like this privacy groups would have been all over their asses. In the 21st century it seems no one gives a sh*t how much information corporations have on you. Hell, people willingly give away the kind of info you really shouldn't give out to anyone carelessly.

Maybe it just doesn't matter that much?

So a lot of companies have my name and address. There are laws that govern what they can and can't do with that, and it's even stricter when you look at credit card info. They have legal obligations to keep that data secure.

To date there is no evidence of anything 'bad' happening as a result of that, not even spam. I'd be more worried about random creepers on the internet than any large company. It's not that I think companies are trustworthy and friendly, it's just that .. I don't see what they can do with that information.

I don't like the tracking info stored on my phone/computer for various reasons but I'm pretty sure Steve Jobs and his pals at Apple aren't going through people's records to spy on them. Most people aren't that special or interesting.

UndergroundWire said,

You're so silly. Don't you know NeoWin doesn't actually report that kind of stuff. By stuff I mean truth.

When it comes to MS related things it does seem the truth gets distorted sometimes

Misleading article -.- For Android to track you you have to opt-in when setting up your phone, if you do yes you can opt-out at any time.

thealexweb said,
Misleading article -.- For Android to track you you have to opt-in when setting up your phone, if you do yes you can opt-out at any time.

+1

Also this article is inaccurate (as usual when it comes to NeoWin). WP7 does log your locations. However, it is unconfirmed if it is being collected.

As for iOS, users were never notified. That's the issue here.

People are blowing this whole thing out of proportion. All the data is anonymized. So people stop freaking out and making this a deciding factor.

UndergroundWire said,

+1

Also this article is inaccurate (as usual when it comes to NeoWin). WP7 does log your locations. However, it is unconfirmed if it is being collected.

As for iOS, users were never notified. That's the issue here.

People are blowing this whole thing out of proportion. All the data is anonymized. So people stop freaking out and making this a deciding factor.

Are users notified about what files are created or collected in Windows/OSX/Linux ? Did Microsoft publish the list of 60+ services in Windows 7 that collect data and send it constantly to Microsoft servers ?
These files are part of the OS and as they are not sold to 3rd party (like Pandora does) there is no problem with being on the devices enhancing users experience.

It's called triangulation ALL phones are capable of being tracked in this manner, even feature phones, this so called tracking is the "Assisted" part of AGPS

z0phi3l said,
It's called triangulation ALL phones are capable of being tracked in this manner, even feature phones, this so called tracking is the "Assisted" part of AGPS

RTFM.

Ummm, the article said "a small victory in the name of security" read before you post. If you dont like what the article says, and dont like the content of the O/P dont come here again, as I'm sure you and others like you will
will not be missed. And it's "Whole" not "hole" and with that one word you invalidate your argument of a journalistic faux pas. Thirdly, just because some posters here dont sip the iOS or android koolaid doesnt
give you carte blanche to slam points of view that differ from yours. Dont let the door hit you on the way
out.

For bad or for good, Microsoft has more experience than any other competitor when it comes to legal, privacy and security issues. They have suffered big ordeals and critics are very quick to attack Microsoft if they make the slightest mistake. For that reason, Microsoft has acquired a company culture that is very careful about these issues and they won't ever consider putting in a mobile, misplaceable device an unencrypted file that tracks your location for a year. These are naive amateur mistakes, made by companies that are still enjoying their honeymoon with their fans and have not being subject to the level of criticism (and sometimes even hate) that Microsoft suffers. Therefore, I think it is positive that some drama is poured onto Apple and Google over privacy issues, because it will help these companies mature and prevent further naivetes to potentially hurt customers. Some said that it is unjustified because we are tracked by carriers anyways, but you need a warrant to request this info from carriers, while a stand alone GPS device such as a cellphone that stores information internally does not.

It's a victory for WP7 because it does not keep history? Whoa. The author of this so called "news" obviously doesn't know much about technology and follows blindly all the paranoia crap mainstream media is feeding him, bravo. An advice: do check what Android and iPhone actually do with the data and why it's being saved.
I guess it's time to stop coming to this website, news/articles have reached a pathetic level, it's not even unprofessional anymore ... Bye.

theh0g said,
It's a victory for WP7 because it does not keep history? Whoa. The author of this so called "news" obviously doesn't know much about technology and follows blindly all the paranoia crap mainstream media is feeding him, bravo. An advice: do check what Android and iPhone actually do with the data and why it's being saved.
I guess it's time to stop coming to this website, news/articles have reached a pathetic level, it's not even unprofessional anymore ... Bye.

Bye.

Microsoft says its "Find My Phone" service keeps only the phone's most recent location.

What if there was a bug that meant it didn't delete the previous location before saving the new one? Suddenly, the device is "tracking" you.

A few people seem to think that's what's happening with iOS devices - the the location data shouldn't be stored for long. Steve Jobs claims that they're not tracking you.

It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out, and if it is a bug in iOS devices or not. I bet Microsoft will be triple-checking location caching code in WP7 from now on to make sure they don't slip up!

iKenndac said,

What if there was a bug that meant it didn't delete the previous location before saving the new one? Suddenly, the device is "tracking" you.

It may be a very serious "bug" to storing one temp location data object in a local database...

iKenndac said,

What if there was a bug that meant it didn't delete the previous location before saving the new one? Suddenly, the device is "tracking" you.

A few people seem to think that's what's happening with iOS devices - the the location data shouldn't be stored for long. Steve Jobs claims that they're not tracking you.

It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out, and if it is a bug in iOS devices or not. I bet Microsoft will be triple-checking location caching code in WP7 from now on to make sure they don't slip up!

This is not an accidental bug. You don't purposely create a databse, ignore users settings to not read the location information, triangulate the user's location from cell towers, store the location and time stamp, then 'forget' to delete the data. If it is a bug, then that is one incompetent developer.

iKenndac said,

What if there was a bug that meant it didn't delete the previous location before saving the new one? Suddenly, the device is "tracking" you.

A few people seem to think that's what's happening with iOS devices - the the location data shouldn't be stored for long. Steve Jobs claims that they're not tracking you.

Not what they disclosed. Apple said they keep the information to improve location on the GPS software.

sviola said,

Not what they disclosed. Apple said they keep the information to improve location on the GPS software.

Improve it from last 3-5 gps signal, or current tower informations, this isnt need a DB tracking... (or there is a superfast db connection that faster than phone memory)

Jack@l said,

Improve it from last 3-5 gps signal, or current tower informations, this isnt need a DB tracking... (or there is a superfast db connection that faster than phone memory)

Well, I'm not defending the practice. I'm just saying they said this was the reason.

do not worry it that would be fixed in 7.5/8

you would always be watched ,oh yea it would be forced upgrade

i warned you!

Any users here with a phone that uses WP7? Is the OS tailored by each manufacture? Does a non-customised WP7 phone exist?

SK[ said,]Any users here with a phone that uses WP7? Is the OS tailored by each manufacture? Does a non-customised WP7 phone exist?

WP7 phones are not allowed to be carrier or manufacturer branded or customized. Microsoft wants a consistent experience across phones.

The only thing carriers and manufacturers can do is pre-load a small number of apps (which you can easily uninstall like any normal app from the marketplace).

SK[ said,]Any users here with a phone that uses WP7? Is the OS tailored by each manufacture? Does a non-customised WP7 phone exist?

OEMs cannot customize WP7 beyond preinstalling some apps (which you can uninstall). It's completely unlike Android, where the OEMS have free reign to mess it up however they want. I have a Samsung Focus, and could not be happier with WP7.

SK[ said,]Any users here with a phone that uses WP7? Is the OS tailored by each manufacture? Does a non-customised WP7 phone exist?

Sure, the Samsung Omnia 7 is "unbranded" you can say but one thing with WP is that it's sorta similar to iPhones in that they don't let you slap all this stuff on it all over the place. All WP phones might have are a few additional apps (that can be uninstalled - unlike Android without modding). The experience is all the same on ANY WP phone you pick up.

Manufacturers and Carriers however have their own section in the marketplace so you wont see HTC apps on a Samsung phone (and i guess you wont see AT&T on a O2 phone or unlocked one).

Cheers.
So updates MS release can be obtained on the day of release? I guess the only varying factor is the hardware.

I wouldn't mind using a WP7 for a few days to see how I get on with it, sadly the only way to do that is via a new contract. Any gripes you guys have with WP7?

SK[ said,]Cheers.
So updates MS release can be obtained on the day of release? I guess the only varying factor is the hardware.

I wouldn't mind using a WP7 for a few days to see how I get on with it, sadly the only way to do that is via a new contract. Any gripes you guys have with WP7?

Well no it's not exactly like the iPhone however, Microsoft still test the software first with individual carriers and then release it. So yeah you don't get it from the carriers per say but they do delay it sometimes:

http://www.microsoft.com/windo...tures/update-schedules.aspx

As you can see. GRRRRR

zombieChan said,

No custom ringtone...
And the alarm app has a glitch..

besides that I love the phone

What's the alarm glitch?

and I've had a focus since launch, and I couldn't be happier either. It blows iOS (and android) out of the water, IMO.

greenwizard88 said,
What's the alarm glitch?

and I've had a focus since launch, and I couldn't be happier either. It blows iOS (and android) out of the water, IMO.

I have an HTC Surround, If i sleep through the alarm, sometimes the sound stops working until I restart it.

zombieChan said,

I have an HTC Surround, If i sleep through the alarm, sometimes the sound stops working until I restart it.

I have the HD7, and the same thing happens on that too. My colleague's HD7 does the same thing. Although, Post-NoDo, I haven't tested that out...

Suave Sagittarian said,

I have the HD7, and the same thing happens on that too. My colleague's HD7 does the same thing. Although, Post-NoDo, I haven't tested that out...

This alarm bug isnt on the HTC Trophy, however since the update i cannot play ilomilo ...

badsey said,

This alarm bug isnt on the HTC Trophy, however since the update i cannot play ilomilo ...

You poor devil! ilomilo is fantastic!

zombieChan said,

No custom ringtone...
And the alarm app has a glitch..

besides that I love the phone

no glitch for me at all since launch day