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Microsoft Exposes Locations of PCs and Phones 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the keeping-up-with-the-googses dept.
suraj.sun sends this excerpt from CNET: "Microsoft has collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world and makes them available on the Web without taking the privacy precautions that competitors have, CNET has learned. The vast database available through Live.com publishes the precise geographical location, which can point to a street address and sometimes even a corner of a building, of Android phones, Apple devices, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets. Unlike Google and Skyhook Wireless, which have compiled similar lists of these unique Wi-Fi addresses, Microsoft has not taken any measures to curb access to its database."
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Microsoft Exposes Locations of PCs and Phones

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  • Re:LINK PLEASE (Score:3, Informative)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Friday July 29, 2011 @02:47PM (#36925210)
    Yes. It's a bad idea.
  • Re:wut? (Score:4, Informative)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Friday July 29, 2011 @02:50PM (#36925248)
    You make it sound as if Microsoft does anything in a premeditated fashion. Stuff just happens and then it bubbles up until the lawyers and marketroids find out about it.
  • Re:Question... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday July 29, 2011 @03:13PM (#36925598)
    Ignore the idiot who doesn't know where his shift key is. It's not the same. Most wireless networks broadcast a beacon signal that informs nearby receivers the name of the network and other information. Triangulating this signal which is public in its very nature is neither illegal nor unethical.

    Google was capturing the packets being broadcast within the networks themselves by other clients. So a system authenticating with a server in plain text (which happens too often) would have the authenticating information (user/password) intercepted. Depending on the view one takes of open networks, this probably violates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or at least its spirit.

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