Last year the smartphone world saw quite a few shake-ups regarding misuse of location data, with first iOS, then Android, and finally Windows Phone going under the magnifying glass. All too often, by the time things resolved it became clear that the initial panic of phone software tracking users, or otherwise sharing location data without consent, was somewhat overblown. Nevertheless, the publicity these incidents generated has been reminding companies that plenty of users take these kind of concerns very seriously. Microsoft may have been thinking back on these events when it decided to introduce a new alert icon, advising users when an app is accessing their location data, in Windows Phone Tango.
Microsoft quietly revealed the upcoming feature in its online Windows Phone documentation, giving users a quick, at-a-glance way to tell when an app you’ve authorized to access location services is trying to do so. This notification doesn’t change anything about location permissions, but just adds this visual reminder of when your location information is being disclosed to apps.
We’ll first see Tango on new Windows Phone hardware arriving in the coming months, eventually followed by bringing its features to existing models via update.