Microsoft hit with class action suit over phone tracking

A security researcher says that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software can transmit your location without your explicit permission.

An analysis by security researcher Samy Kamkar says that the Camera application in Windows Phone 7 sends the device's location--complete with latitude and longitude, a unique ID, and nearby Wi-Fi access points--to Microsoft even when the user has not given the app permission to do so. Here are more details on how it works.

"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 it," Kamkar wrote in an analysis made public yesterday as part of a lawsuit filed against Microsoft. Lawyers for the suit, who are seeking class action status, hired him to perform the testing. Microsoft declined to comment to CNET.

The Seattle-based law firm Tousley Brain Stephens, which boasts of having "a national reputation for achieving exceptional results" in class action lawsuits, filed the case against Microsoft Tuesday in federal district court in Washington state.

For more on this story, read Microsoft collects phone location data without permission, says researcher.