Apple found itself in a bit of hot water back in April when researchers discovered that iPhones and 3G-enabled iPads recorded the position of devices in a hidden file. The revelation created an uproar, and now Microsoft is facing a similar problem.
A class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week alleges that Microsoft “intentionally tracks the movements of its users’ mobile devices in direct contravention of their privacy settings and the law.”
The suit alleges that Microsoft collects location information from users through the camera app on the device, even if users have chosen not to have the geo tracking capability turned on. The suit says:
Users clicking “cancel” explicitly deny Microsoft access to their geolocations. Unfortunately for its users, however, Microsoft brazenly continues to collect users’ location information, regardless of whether or not the individual chooses “cancel” so as to not allow such information to be tracked. Thus, Microsoft surreptitiously forces even unwilling users into its non-stop geo-tracking program in the interest of developing its digital marketing grid.
Cnet has more on the suit, noting that if the allegations are true Microsoft “would be violating its own privacy pledges to customers.” Here’s the suit: