Microsoft Explains Its Windows Phone 7 Location Policy

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Following up on an April 25, 2011 inquiry from the House of Representatives, Andy Lees, Microsoft President of Mobile Communications Business addressed a letter in response outlining the basic principles of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 location Policy. As a reminder, the worldwide community got really sentimental about Apple’s handling location data – now fixed – and Android doing so as well.

In his letter, Andy Lees tells everyone about the four principles that sets Windows Phone 7 aside from the other platform, location handling-wise. First of all, with Windows Phone 7, users get the opportunity to expressly allow or disallow location services. The choice is both at the application level as well as system wide, with options to allow/disallow a certain bit of software to access location data or allow/disallow for the whole device.

Location information is collected, when enabled by the user only “if that application actually requests the location data. If an application does not request location, Microsoft will not collect location data”. When Microsoft does indeed collect location information, it does so regarding landmarks – WiFi access points and cell towers – and not users. TO further address concerns, Microsoft has “recently taken specific steps to eliminate the use and storage of unique device identifiers by our location service when collecting information about these landmarks. Without a unique identifier, or some other significant change to our operating system or practices, we cannot track an individual device”.

Last but not least, Microsoft is informing users of the location services they’re about to consent to, by providing a “link to the Windows Phone Privacy Statement, 1 which includes its own section on location services with information describing the data Windows Phone 7 collects or stores to determine location, how that data is used, and how consumers can enable or disable location-based features”.

You can read the whole letter following the source link below. There are people concerned about their privacy regarding location just as there are people that don’t care. Also, there are people that can live with Microsoft, Apple or Google collecting information about their location as long as the information is kept private. Which one of these are you?

Source: Microsoft Letter to U.S. House of Representatives (PDF)

Via: WMPowerUser

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Anton D. Nagy
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