Microsoft sued over smartphone data security issue

Microsoft sued over smartphone data security issue

A lawsuit against Microsoft filed this week in Seattle district court accused the computing giant of collecting location data through its Windows Phone 7 OS even when users elect to opt out of such programs.

The case specifically cited the Windows Phone Camera application as presenting a prompt to users asking whether it can collect information about nearby Wi-Fi networks, cell towers and other location-based data. Even if the user selects "cancel," however, the data collection continues, the suit said.

"The Windows Mobile operating system is clearly sending information that can lead to accurate location information of the mobile device regardless of whether the user allowed the camera application to share location information or not," an analysis by expert Samy Kamkar said, according to PC Magazine.

Mobile device data security concerns have been raised before, with both Google's Android and Apple's iOS presenting several privacy issues for users. The latter system, in particular, stores location data in an unencrypted file, posing a potentially serious security problem.