IDG News Service - In the midst of an uproar over ways that Apple and Google collect and store location information from mobile phones, Microsoft has laid out details about its Windows Phone 7 data collection policies.
Microsoft says that it collects location information only if users allow an application to access location data and when that particular application requests location information. It also said that it keeps that data in a Microsoft database.
Apple has come under fire in recent weeks after researchers showed that the iPhone and iPad store location data about users on the devices. Additional research found that both Apple and Google collect location information about users even when applications that require location information aren't running.
Google has defended itself by saying that location sharing by users of Android-based mobile phones is opt-in and that all location data the company stores is anonymized. Apple has not commented on the situation.
Microsoft said that it assembles and maintains a database of the locations of cell towers and Wi-Fi access points in order to provide its location services. When a user accesses an application that requires location information, Microsoft compares the Wi-Fi access points and cell towers in range of the device with the location database, which contains details of the locations of the access points and cell towers.
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