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Microsoft Exposes Locations of PCs and Phones 96

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 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:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday July 29, 2011 @03:40PM (#36925964)

    All the full article really says is that someone could tie a MAC address to a location. So? Knowing your MAC address gives me almost no information about you -- nothing personally identifiable, anyways, unless I have an unrelated method of attaching your MAC to you personally (such as having physical access to your phone...). So the information is entirely useless for someone trying to invade your privacy, unless there's something I'm missing (that wasn't included in the article).

    Or, if I know my ex-gf's phone's or home access point's MAC address, I could find out where she moved when she told me to leave her alone and stopped answering my phone calls and emails. Makes it easier to pay her a surprise visit and convince her to take me back. Once she sees that I tracked her down and followed her halfway across the country to sit at her doorstep and wait for her to come home, she'll be bound to want me back. Fortunately, the MAC was captured from her phone while she was at work and at he gym, so I can always meet her in one of those places if she spots me at her house.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury