Microsoft on Wednesday was sued in a district court in Seattle for allegedly tracking Windows Phone users without consent.
Plaintiff Rebecca Cousineau claims in the complaint that Microsoft is racing to develop a targeted location-based advertising system and has to map the locations of cell towers, wireless routers, mobile phones, and computers to do so effectively. The complaint alleges that Microsoft chose to collect this information from Windows Phone users rather than go through the expensive and laborious process of collecting the information itself.
“Microsoft’s scheme is executed through its camera application, which comes standard with a mobile device running the Windows Phone OS,” the complaint states.
The crux of the complaint is that Microsoft asks the user for permission to use his or her location the first time the camera application is opened and then ignores the user’s choice, collecting location data whether or not the user has consented.