The Apple location tracking drama just keeps heating up, with a full on class-action lawsuit having just been filed. Apple continues to point fingers at Google, with Steve Jobs supposedly saying “We don’t track anyone” and that Android does. Either way, the tracking by both Apple and Google have folks concerned, and now we can add to that Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 devices are said to also store location data of its users. They have not yet answered how frequent the location data is transmitted and how long the location histories are stored. However, they have said that the location data is not saved directly on the device.
This is different from Apple’s situation because researchers have found that the location data from an iPhone 4 is stored in an open file directly on the device. But other researchers do point out that the information is not being used by Apple to track its users, but rather being stored perhaps to track the performance of the phone and the network. The historical data should in fact be deleted as time goes on, and that such a process isn’t happening probably due to oversight.
This appears to be the case with Google’s Android devices, which only the last few dozen locations are recorded, where as on the Apple iPhone or iPad, more than a year’s worth of location data could be stored. And to make matters worse, it is said that Apple devices store location data even when location service apps are turned off.