Microsoft confirms Windows Phone does not store location history

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In a statement released to PC Magazine, Microsoft confirmed it does not store the location history of a handset. The Redmond company confirmed the location service on Windows Phone does use the location of your handset for search and other services such as the web-based Find My Phone. With Find my Phone, Windows Phone owners are able to locate or interact with their phone when it is lost or stolen. To provide this service, Microsoft stores the last location of the handset and this single location is updated a regular interval. Unlike iOS which apparently stores thousands of location data points, Windows Phone only stores this single piece of location data.

The iOS location saga hit the mainstream news last week when two researchers published a story detailing iOS’ storage location data on O’Reilly’s Radar site. According to the researchers, Apple’s wireless devices such as the iPhone and 3G iPad store months worth of location data on the handset. When the phone or table is synced via iTunes, this information is copied onto the computer to which the handset was synced. This behavior was originally uncovered last year, but it did not catch people’s attention until now.

The discovery has prompted Congressman Al Franken to send a letter to Apple and has spurned at least one lawsuit aimed to shed light on why Apple is collection this information. Steve Jobs has reportedly chimed in the issue and denied that Apple tracks your data, but we cannot confirm Jobs is the real source of this unofficial statement. As it stands, Android also collects location history but users have the option to turn it off. Windows Phone owners seem to be in the clear as this mobile OS does not store a location history.

[Via PC Magazine]

  • Anonymous

    Yet again, Microsoft proves to be “the safe choice.”

    Google sure is demanding *something* for that “free” software, and it’s called your valuable marketing data.

    And Apple users are the biggest patsies of all — they’re paying a MASSIVE premium to Apple and the carriers, having their phones locked down by Apple (and bricked by Apple if “unauthorized” software is installed), AND having their private details collected/possibly sold to boot! Paying a premium for such an experience is pretty odd.

  • kdarling

    I don’t think you meant that it “spurned” a lawsuit. Spurred perhaps. Or spawned.

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