microsoft spying01.jpg
The word "scheme" is used liberally throughout a federal complaint against Microsoft that details the company's use of location-tracking software on its cell phones.

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Feds to Microsoft: You're Lying About Cell-Phone Tracking

microsoft spying01.jpg
The word "scheme" is used liberally throughout a federal complaint against Microsoft that details the company's use of location-tracking software on its cell phones.

Another word used is "false." As in "Microsoft's representations to Congress were false."

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Wednesday, and strikes a similar tone to suits filed against Apple and its location-tracking software "scheme."

Microsoft makes no claims that it doesn't track people via cell-phone GPS, but the company says that it only does so with customers' permission.

That, the suit argues, is bullshit.

In April of 2011, leaders of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters to a number of developers of mobile device operating systems, including Microsoft, requesting information about how their software was designed to track and store users' locations. In its response to Congress's inquiry, Microsoft unequivocally stated that the Windows Phone OS never collects geolocation data without the express consent of its users. . . Microsoft's representations to Congress were false.

The reason for tracking people's whereabouts is simple: Money. Advertising money, to be precise.

Microsoft, like other mobile-technology companies, is interested in developing targeted advertising systems that can send tailored ads to customers, based on many different facets, among them their location.

But before they can launch this software, the company needs to develop a large collection of baseline data on where people go and how to go about using that info to convince them to buy crap.

All this denial from Microsoft about whether they track people with their permission or not (does anyone actually give permission for companies to track their every move?) is disingenuous, to say the least.

When, inevitably, the company unveils its new targeted advertising system, there will be much explaining to do as to how the data used in launching it was acquired.

Read the full complaint below.

Microsoft Cell Phone Tracking

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